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This article is about the elite soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic. You may be looking for the video game of a similar name.
"Think of yourselves as a hand. Each of you is a finger, and without the others you're useless. Alone, a finger can't grasp, or control, or form a fist. You are nothing on your own, and everything together."
Kal Skirata

A clone commando, or Republic commando, was an elite soldier of the Grand Army of the Republic. Often working in groups of four, clone commandos were assigned to carry out covert operations too delicate for regular clone troopers. Covert infiltration, sabotage, foreign unit training, and assassination were standard tasks for the clone commandos.[1]

When Order 66 was issued by Emperor Palpatine at the end of the Clone Wars, one commando unit, Ion Team, refused to fire on their commanding Jedi for various reasons, and several other commandos deserted, thus showing that at least some commandos were independent.[2]

Contents

History

A Clone Commando Squad
"If they're anything as good as I hear, they can practically win the war themselves."
Trooper Three-five, on Geonosis

Soon after the cloners of Kamino began their clone trooper project, Jango Fett, although he believed his clones would be the best soldiers in the galaxy, realized that situations would arise that regular infantry clones could not handle. He persuaded the Kaminoans to create a new class of Advanced Recon Commando, which he would personally train. The result was the Alpha-class Advanced Recon Commandos.

The Kaminoans believed the Alpha ARCs would be just as rogue as the "failed" Null-class ARC troopers, so they proposed another idea. They requested a battalion of elite commandos be created from the regular clone trooper genome template. These clones would be more loyal and obedient than the ARC's but more independent to their more common brethren; this would allow them to handle more delicate missions that had a broad objective. The commandos could devise their own ways of completing it. The commandos would be placed into squads (nicknamed "pods") of four commandos each, in a reflection of the aiwha hunting pods native to the depths of Kamino.[3]

Fett agreed to this proposal and requested that the commandos be trained by professional mercenaries in addition to computerized "flash" training. The cloners agreed with Fett, and soon Jango had gathered 75 Mandalorian soldiers and another 25 elite mercenaries from around the galaxy to form the Cuy'val Dar, or "those who no longer exist". Under the direction of Fett, the training sergeants gave the commandos the most elite training available.[4]

The Kaminoans soon found they had a number of small, operational squads, each capable of carrying out self-contained or campaign-augmenting missions, as well as being highly trained and fiercely cohesive, yet capable of carrying out a variety of mission profiles.

A clone commando in battle.

When the Clone Wars started with the Battle of Geonosis, the commandos were some of the first units dropped in, disrupting droid factories and assassinating Geonosian lieutenant Sun Fac.[1] However, due to the Jedi inexperience with leading an army, many commandos died—50 percent of them having died in the first year of the war—as many were used as infantry. Over the course of the Clone Wars, the commandos were set to work in various other flash-points across the galaxy, wreaking havoc on the Separatist forces.[1]

Throughout the Clone Wars, there were many different opinions regarding the commandos. Some clones tended to respect the commandos for their superb training and combat skills while other clones, especially the infantry-based units that fought in the larger battles of the war, believed that the commandos' reputation was grossly exaggerated. As the Clone Wars dragged on, the emergence of the Mandalorian Protectors only added to the causes behind the growing number of casualties among the Grand Army of the Republic. For this reason, and the fact that an Advanced Recon Commando went rogue, because of his Mandalorian heritage in the first place, the clones began to despise anything Mandalorian, especially clones who still embraced the Mandalorian culture. This can be seen when the 2nd Airborne Company, after being dealt high casualties by the Mandalorian Protectors, showed their obvious contempt for Omega Squad, a unit of clone commandos that were deeply devoted to their Mandalorian roots. Ultimately, the loyalty of the standard-issued clones fell to the Galactic Republic without question, and since the Mandalorians had declared war for the Confederacy of Independent Systems, than heritage or no heritage, Mandalorians were now viewed by the clones as enemies of the Republic. And to a clone trooper - all enemies of the Republic were to be eliminated.

The ARC troopers, being the best and most elite unit within the Grand Army of the Republic, were the clones that were held in a higher regard than the Clone Commandos. Even the commandos acknowledged the superiority of the ARC troopers, Darman having stated that the ARC troopers were about the closest thing on the Republic's side that he feared and Atin having complimented the ARC troopers for being "pretty well raw Jango."

The standard clone troopers were useful in a group, while the ARC troopers, though they occasionally worked in squads as well, were very capable on their own. The commandos were trained to battle in a four-men squad, but they were described as "formidable" by the Kaminoans, who claimed that "they are the best of the best that the Republic has to offer and were given the best training available, superior to their more common brethren." However, this is in reference the commandos in comparison to the regular clones and is based on the Kaminoans' biased opinion, for they still perceived the ARC troopers as failed experiments which bred impulsive and irrational clones. Overall, the clone commandos were second best in the Grand Army, superior to regular clones and more independent-minded, but less up-to-par and more obedient than the ARC troopers.

With the initiation of the clone commando experiment, approximately 100 instructors (of which 75 were Mandalorians) were chosen by Jango Fett himself. Each instructor trained a group of clones, of 104 per group, with each group separating into multiple squads (4 commandos). Some of these clones didn't survive the training. Clone Commando Training Sergeant Kal Skirata personally shot and killed one clone with his own rifle. When the conclusion of the Clone Wars resulted in the decimation of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Republic Commandos would, in a way, survive to see the rise of the New Order. As their clone trooper variants were renamed as Imperial stormtroopers, so too were the commandos renamed as Imperial Commandos. Amongst the first of the Empire's clone commandos were the remaining members of the Republic's Delta Squad and Omega Squad, respectively. One of their first duties to perform in service of the Empire, as stated by Darman of Omega Squad, was oversee the elite training program for new clones (mostly those created from Spaarti technology), including those of the 501st Legion. These Imperial Commandos served within Darth Vader's 501st Legion, tasked to hunt down fugitive Jedi and clone deserters.

Training

"Ah, one of the deluxe models. Come to save us with your 'superior' training?"
"This 'deluxe model' is the only thing standing between you and a bloody death. So you best be showing some respect, trooper."
"Y-yes sir! W-what are your orders, sir?"
―Anonymous clone trooper to Boss
A clone commando setting an explosive charge.

Clone commandos were trained by a group of elite training sergeants chosen by Jango Fett. These men and women, known as the Cuy'val Dar trained the commandos in a variety of tactics, and often the trainers were a fatherly figure for the fatherless clones. However, some, like Walon Vau, opted to toughen up their soldiers and were ruthless towards them.[5]

Clone commandos were trained in live-fire exercises, giving them a sense of the reality of combat long before normal clone troopers. Anti-terrorist training was conducted in a building nicknamed the Killing House. Though many commandos died during these exercises, the rest learned rapidly, allowing them to become better soldiers. However, the repercussions of their squadmates' deaths were felt by any commando who lost a vod—a brother. Clone commandos also experienced near-death torture to train them in resisting interrogation, and many clones were left mentally scarred from it.[5]

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Specialized training

"Try to keep them from blowing the place up until Vau gets here, ok?"
Niner, to Darman

Each clone commando was trained to handle a specialized task, varying from commando to commando. Some, like Sev, specialized in sniping and assassination. Others, like Fi, specialized as medics and received more advanced training than their other brethren in that field. Others, like Boss or Niner, showed more leadership potential and acted as squad leaders. Some, like Scorch and Darman, showed a natural skill with demolitions ordinance and acted as demo specs. Others, like Fixer or Atin, were trained to be able to handle a variety of technology-based tasks, such as slicing computers.[1]

Integration into trooper training regime

"Not quite ARCs, sir. Not like clone troopers, either. We don't work alone and we don't work in formations. We just look the same."
RC-8015

It appears that the clone commando program was so successful that some clone troopers were trained in commando skills and tactics. Some commando-trained troopers were CT-19/39, a recon trooper killed on Praesitlyn;[6] CT-5108/8843, a former bomb disposal expert taken under Kal Skirata's wing; the clone trooper squad that accompanied Mace Windu and Valiant during the hunt for Darth Sidious;[7] and the non-ARC members of the Muunilinst 10.[8]

Equipment

"Got a thing for Trandoshan weaponary?
[...]
Just in case. Republic doesn't make all the best gear.
"
Darman to Atin, on his taste for Trandoshan weapons.
The DC-17m Interchangeable Weapon System
Two commandos making short work of enemy forces.

The commandos were heavily armed. They had at their disposal an impressive arsenal of blasters, sniper rifles, and anti-armor launchers, all part of the configurable DC-17m Interchangeable Weapon System. They also carried either DC-15s side arm blasters, or shotguns. Wearing advanced Katarn commando armor, clone commandos were the ultimate soldiers. Because the armor was silvery-gray, the other clone troops called them "shiny boys"[9]. However, some squads would put special colors on their armor, or a number of dots on the left breast armor pad to symbolize rank and position in the hierarchy of the squad. Other squads would opt for improved camouflage, as was the case with Omega Squad, which wore matte black armor, and Yayax Squad, who wore grey splinter camouflage.

By default, the commandos were trained with the DC-17m, but often times other weapons would be used or issued to them, depending on the situation. Katarn-class armor also featured a retractable knuckle plate vibro blade for melee combat. However, they were also supplied with an array of non-Republic exotic weaponry, such as LJ-50 concussion rifle, slugthrowers, Accelerated Charged Particle Array Gun, the Accelerated Charged Particle Repeater Gun, LJ-50 concussion rifle, LS-150 Heavy Accelerated Charged Particle Repeater Gun, improvised explosive devices, bore bangs, flash-bang grenades and EMP grenades. [1]

Often one member of the squad would be given an E-web repeating blaster. This was an extremely cumbersome and heavy weapon as it had to be moved in several parts. When used by normal troopers, the E-web was manned by two troopers but such was the training given to the commandos that it was only manned by one. Some times commandos would each carry a section of E-web, dividing it into 4 parts if the mission required moving fast and/or over long distances.

After the Galactic Empire was formed, the newly christened Imperial Commandos received a new set of armor. According to Darman, however, part of him would have preferred to keep his old Katarn armor, but was rather glad to be rid of it and all things that reminded him of his past service to the Republic and under his dead secret wife Etain Tur-Mukan. In any case, this points out that the new armor worn by the Imperial Commandos may not have been as effective as the commandos' Katarn-class armor.

Known operations

"That's what they created us for. The complicated jobs."
Niner

Republic commandos were deployed across the galaxy following the Battle of Geonosis, battling through the murky Geonosian hives and the dangerous forests of Kashyyyk.[1]

Rank and color notation

RC-1136 aka Darman.
"Clone troopers are well disciplined. Even the Alpha-batch ARC troopers—surly though they are—are predictable, in the sense that Fett gave them precise orders that they continue to obey. But the commando batches are almost as unpredictable as the Nulls, and the Nulls are as good as being Skirata's private army. That's the problem with having intelligent clones trained by a ragbag of undisciplined thugs—they've turned out at best idiosyncratic, at worst disobedient. But they'll probably win the war for us. Tolerate them."
―Assessment of Republic Commando cadre by Director of Special Forces general Arligan Zey to Iri Camas

The standard color of the Katarn armor worn by Republic commandos was silver-gray regardless of rank. However an experiment by the Kaminoans allowed for one squad, Delta Squad, to paint their armor as they saw fit and test its effects on morale in combat. Delta Squad's superior performance during the Battle of Geonosis would pave the way for all other commandos squads to paint their armor as well. Some commandos decorated their armor to their individual tastes or according to rank, while others, such as Omega Squad, ordered identical suits of matte black stealth armor, as they found the regular armor was easily spotted when crossing an open field.

Delta Squad used circles on the left breast plate to designate rank. Boss, being the leader, had four circles. Fixer, being second in command, had three circles. Since Scorch and Sev did not have a leadership role, neither of them had any circles on their armor.[1]

Clone commando units

Training companies

Known commandos

Concept of Clone commandos on Kashyyyk.

Behind the scenes

In the customization menu during multiplayer online gameplay there are a number of skins available for the Clone commando. These include Night Ops, Demolitions, Ranger, Sniper and Recon.

Appearances

Concept of Clone commandos in action.
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando
  • Republic Commando: Hard Contact
  • Omega Squad: Targets
  • Honor Bound
  •  "The Package" - Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 3
  • The Cestus Deception (First appearance)
  • Republic Commando: Triple Zero
  • Odds
  • Republic Commando: True Colors
  • Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
  • Jedi Trial
  •  "The Drop" - Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 6
  • Labyrinth of Evil
  • Reversal of Fortune
  • Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
  • Orders
  • Republic Commando: Order 66 (Non-canonical appearance)
  • Star Wars Republic 78: Loyalties
  • Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (video game) (Helmet only)

Sources

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Star Wars: Republic Commando
  2. Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
  3.  Clone commando in the Databank
  4. Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Republic Commando: Hard Contact
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jedi Trial
  7. Labyrinth of Evil
  8. Star Wars: Clone Wars
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Republic Commando: Triple Zero
  10. Omega Squad: Targets
  11. "The Package"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Republic Commando: True Colors
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Galaxy at War
  14. "Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel"

See also


This article uses material from the "Clone commando" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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