For the first time in any of the three defence services, the Indian Navy has decided to allow women to join its elite special forces, according to senior officials with knowledge of the decision on Sunday.
The army, navy, and air force special forces are made up of some of the toughest soldiers who undergo intense training, are able to mount a quick and covert response in the forbidden zones and have up to now been a man’s domain.
A Watershed Moment
Women in the navy who meet the criteria can now become marine commandos (Marcos). It is a watershed moment in Indian military history. However, no one is assigned directly to special forces units. It must be done by volunteers.
According to a second official, female officers and sailors who join the service as Agniveers next year will have the option of volunteering to become Marcos. The Marcos have been trained to perform a variety of tasks on land, sea, and air. These commandos are capable of conducting covert attacks on enemy warships, offshore installations, and other critical assets, as well as specialized diving operations and observation and reconnaissance missions to support naval operations.
They are capable of fighting terrorists in a maritime environment and have been used in counter-terrorism operations in Kashmir’s Wular lake area.
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Women in the Indian Navy
Women are now welcome in all branches of the navy, including special operations, aviation, and vessel duties. It has evolved into a force that is completely gender-neutral. If a person has what it takes, there is no shortage of opportunities.
The opening of the navy’s special forces wing to women comes as the force prepares to induct women for the first time into the personnel below officer rank (PBOR) cadre.
The navy is keeping a close eye on its first class of Agniveers, which includes women, as they train at the INS Chilka training facility in Odisha. Among the 3,000 recruits in the navy’s first batch of Agniveers were 341 women.
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