Post –WW2 Commando Units

1 Mar 2022

Almost ten years after the WW2 Commando units were demobilised two CMF (now ARes) Commando Companies were raised in the cold war atmosphere of 1955

1 Commando Company in Sydney and 2 Commando Company in Melbourne, both with a nucleus of former WW2 Commandos and Korean War veterans.


(The Special Air Service Company was raised in 1957, becoming a Regiment in 1964.)


1 Commando Regiment was formed in February 1981, comprising 1 and 2 Cdo Companies, 126 Signal Squadron (Special Forces) in Melbourne, and the Regt HQ in Sydney, with the regular army strength of the new regiment greatly increased.


In 1996, 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR) was re-roled from an Infantry Battalion to a Commando unit, as 4 Bn (Commando), creating the first full-time Commando Capability within the Australian Regular Army since WW2. In June 2009, it was renamed 2nd Commando Regiment.


In recent years Australian Commandos, both ARA and Army Reserve, have been employed on peace keeping and operations in a number of theatres, including Bougainville, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.


In 2003, Special Operations Command (Australia) was established as the administrative and operational headquarters for all of Australia's Special Forces and Commando units.


Current Special Forces units, under Special Operations Command, are

  • the Special Air Service Regiment,

  • 1st Commando Regiment,

  • 2nd Commando Regiment,

  • Special Operations Engineer Regiment,

  • Special Operations Logistics Squadron,

  • ADF School of Special Operations

  • ADF Parachute Training School.