Great Britain’s Royal Marine Commandos or, officially, The Corps of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, have long held an illustrious and storied place in the history of the Islands Armed Forces.

From its creation in 1755, the Marines served a dual purpose of providing ship security and maintaining discipline among the sailors. When battles occurred, they provided an elite force to board and capture enemy vessels. With these skills, they proved their mettle in major naval engagements during the Napoleonic wars and enforcing the Empire’s anti-piracy, anti slavery policies.

They continued their successes into the Second World War when their role changed from being light infantry to providing specialized training to Commandos. And in 1942, Commando was added to their name and they remain the only unit to use it.

Royal Marine Commando Shoulder Flash and Badges.After 1945, they continued operations all across the globe, pioneering such acts as the first helicopter assault during the 1956 Suez Crisis, and helping defeat the Malayan insurgency.

The 1982 Falkland’s War provided a shining moment for the Commandos’ capabilities when a unit, (45 Cdo), negotiated an arduous long march through peat bogs backpacking most of their equipment (up to 80 pounds) over 56 miles to take an objective. Others fought in the bleak mountains in squad and platoon sized battles, while others led the charge to Port Stanley.

Units have also participated in both Gulf Wars and continue fighting today in Afghanistan.

There 7,800 hundred personnel in the Marines, active and reserve, under 3rd Commando Brigade.

3 battalion size elements (40, 42, 45 Cdo, form the main combat force while another, 43 Cdo, provides security for Navy nuclear weapons and facilities. A final group, 30 Cdo, operates in the intelligence, surveillance and recon sector.