The French Special Forces, are also called the Commandement des Opérations Spécialesor the COS. This organization compounds all of the military branches in France including the Navy, Army and Air Force as well as the Gendarmerie. It is comprized of the first and second circle where the first circle is under permanent COS command and the second circle being called in for reinforcement. The COS can commandeer any members of the armed forces in France for special military action if necessary.

Their History

The COS began in June, 1992 shortly after the Gulf War. It is a direct of the special forces units of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Gendarmerie, all of which are under the command of the COS.

How To Become A Member Of The COS

Those who are involved in any of the special forces units of the French Military are considered to be part of the first circle of the COS. There are various military regiments in France, including the French Army Special Forces Brigade (CFST). Those who train for the special forces in the various fractions of the French Military are considered part of the COS.

COS Training

Training for the COS consists of extensive military training. In addition, there are exercises annually that insure that all of the special military units operate within one another. The exercises are called the Gorgones. The best trained ar the GCP unit which is trained in accordance with SAS standards.

What Are They Best At?

The French Special Forces are best at special covert operations both domestically as well as abroad. They have been active in a number of missions and also focus on fighting both domestic as well as global terrorism ..

Weapons Of The COS

The weapons of the COS depend upon which of the branch of service is involved. They use NATO weapons, sniper rifles, M2 Browning Machine Guns, MK 19 Grenade launchers, many versions of the Colt M4, M16 and Heckler & Koch weapons. In addition, they use the Heckler & Koch USP with a silencer, the Glock 17 and the AT4.

Known Missions

Most of the missions of the COS are covert operations. They have been involved in the Operation Licorne as well as working intensively with UN troops in Afghanistan.


The COS is comprised of units of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Gendarmerie. The units of the army include the 1st Regiment de parachutistes d'infanterie de marine, which is a unit designed for direct action and is closely related to the SAS. In addition, ther eis also the 13e Regiment for long term reconnaissance, and a special detachment unit. The Commandos Marine units are five commandos teams and are considered a naval counter terrorist team. There are also special Parachute units such as the Commandos 10 and the DOS in the Air Force. All of the special forces units work with the COS in the first circle and are the first to be called into duty in times of war.

Are They Professional Soldiers?

Members of the COS undergo rigorous training and are professional soldiers. Those of the first circle are all professional soldiers who have signed up for duty in the various forces. The COS can also commandeer the use of the Gendarmerie Nationale and second circle Army as well as the third circle, which is police intelligence, if needed.

Source by James Kara Murat