An overview of the NSG Commandos: India’s premier security force

NSG Commandos

As a country that have forever been susceptible to attacks and threats brought upon by internal as well as external factors, India inevitably maintains a huge reservoir of weapons and forces. But the magnitude and nature of threats that arise from within the territorial limits of the country is somewhat different from the threat posed by foreign agents. As such, the defense faculties of the country are equipped with diversified forces that strive to protect the nation in the face of any eventuality.

Terrorism and insurgency form the major threat to Indian unity and integrity. It is therefore obvious that the forces which are designated to counter such severe strikes will have to be specially formed and managed under an elite category. The National Security Guard commandos were formed for this very purpose way back in 1984.

NSG Commando
Source: Cryptorich

And though these commandos are trained to tackle all facets of counter-terrorism operations, including counter-hijacking tasks on land, sea and air, bomb disposal, post-blast investigation and hostage-rescue operations, they are only put into action in the most exceptional cases.


Placed under the Indian Home Ministry, the soldiers for this special faction of the forces are drawn from various quarters. NSG is headed by a DGP from the Indian Police Service and a unique combination of personnel on deputation from Indian Army and Central Armed Police Forces ensures that the two pronged NSG forces are maintained.

  • Special Action Group, that is formed from the army (CDS, NDA) and concentrates on tackling mainly insurgency related strife.
  • Special Ranger Group, that is formed from members of the CAPF (Central Armed Police Force), ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) and Rapid Action Force. The rangers are responsible for providing security to the VIP people.
NSG Commando
Source: Snap361

The soldiers for this Special Operations have to undergo special training. A rigorous 26 elemental training schedules at Manesar in Haryana for a period of 4 months are mandatory for the final induction into this special category of forces. However, the training is one of the severest which can be known from the fact that there exists a 50- 70% drop out rate during the probationary period.


The 7350 strong NSG are also referred to as the Black Cats, courtesy their all black uniform and the black cat insignia on their overalls. The training, undoubtedly, is one of the most stringent stages of the recruitment process, with some of the forces also undergoing special training in Israel.

NSG Commando
Source: Twitter

Modelled on Germany’s GSG 9 (Grenzschutzgruppe 9 or “Border Guard Group 9”), the NSG’S battle inoculation period requires the commandos to stand by the side of the target even without wearing bulletproof vests to enhance targeting accuracy. Besides, the alert status during the training period requires the commandos to fire close to 14,000 rounds over a period of two months, which is more than what they would normally do during their entire stint in the army.


Driven by the pursuits of excellence, leadership, speed and agility, precision and accuracy, the NSG leaves no scope for error.

NSG Commandos
Source: Twitter


Only a soldier or a member/ trainee of a military or para-military force can become a National Security Guard.

Qualitative Requirements for deputation to NSG covers the following-

Sepoys / Constables need to

  • be below 30 years of age
  • have service experience of at least 2 years

Non Commissioned Officers / Under Officers need to

  • be below 38 years of age
  • have service experience of at least 1 year

Junior Commissioned Officers / Subordinate Officers need to

  • be below 43 years of age
  • have service experience of at least 1 year

Officers have no restriction whatsoever on the minimum service experience requirement, however the minimum age limit applies even to them

  • Team Commander needs to be below 42 years of age
  • Squadron Commander needs to be below 47 years of age
  • Group Commander needs to be below 52 years of age
NSG Commandos
Source: ModaFinilsale

In addition, there are uniform guidelines relating to health and additional qualification as well as service factor across all categories.

Health Factor: Medical Category ‘A’ for all categories and rank.

Training Factor: Preference will be given to those who have done professional/technical training courses in recognized training institution.

Service Factor: Punishment free record for three years and no major punishment during entire service.


Salary of the commandos in NSG depends upon their ranks, as in any other organisation. Personnel below officer rank probably start off with around Rs. 21,000/- per month, the JCO officers start off with 40,000. Officers above JCO are usually from the Class-I officers from the Army and the IPS.  Their actual salary starts with 50,000/- per month and according to their ranks it goes on increasing. Generally the salary is decided according to the ranks of NSG Commando.