The 40 Commando RM is a light infantry unit of the British Royal Marines that operate in a wide range of theaters, such as desert, tropical jungle, and mountains. This battalion-sized, highly-trained unit was created during World War II, participating in Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and the Battle of Anzio in 1944. In May 1982, during the Falklands War, the 40 Commando RM secured the beachhead at San Carlos (Blue Beach). During the 1991 Gulf War it was deployed in northern Iraq to protect the Kurdish people from Saddam Hussein’s troops. During the Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the troops of the 40 Commando RM, commanded by Lt Col Gordon Kenneth Messenger, seized and secured important oil infrastructure and captured a large chunk of enemy territory, defeating several Iraqi units deployed on the outskirts of Basra. This fierce and effective attack carried out by the men of the 40 Commando killed 200 Iraqi soldiers as more than 400 prisoners were taken. The unit was also deployed in Afghanistan where it conducted several operations against the Taliban.
The 40 Commando Royal Marines is composed of skillful professional soldiers, who has been highly and extensively trained to successfully their missions in a wide range of geographical environments. After basic training, their recruits take the Commando course, which include: 1) a 9-mile speed march, carrying full fighting gear, to be completed in one and a half hour; 2) the endurance course, which is a six-mile course across rough moorland and woodland terrain with water-filled tunnel, pipes, wading pools, and underwater culvert; 3) the Tarzan assault course (zip-line, climbing rope, etc.); 4) the thirty miler, which is a 30-mile (48-km) march across upland Dartmoor, carrying full fighting equipment. Completing the Commando course successfully entitles the recruit to wear the green beret. However, the officer will keep training in military exercises in his career. Some marines are trained in military parachuting to allow flexibility of insertion methods for all force elements.
40 Commando RM in Action in Afghanistan (Operation Herrick 12)