Special Service Group (SSG) is made up of specialized units and groups trained and dedicated for special tasks.
In this post, we’ll discuss few myths about them so that people who want to join SSG are more clear about the setup they’re going in to.
1. SSG means Commando
This is the most common myth. People think that SSG and commando is the same thing. It’s not.
SSG means Special Service Group. It’s a group in Pakistan army which is a complete setup and includes people from various arms and services assigned for specific tasks. Not everyone in it has gone through the commando course and thus is not a commando.
Commando refers to a team of elite soldiers who are trained mainly for raid purposes. We have commandos in army, ssg, police, etc.
So SSG does contain a lot of commandos, but so does various units of infantry (called lite commando units) and elite police units.
2. SSG means Guerrilla
The term Guerrilla refers to a non-state owned militia, working in favor or against the state owned army’s interest.
So by definition, the SSG personnel are not guerrilla’s as they are part of a well organized and state owned military.
They do guerrilla warfare related tasks, but that’s only a part of their duty if needed, it’s not their main aim.
Commando = Military
Guerrilla = Civil
As per definition, any civilian or military person can become a guerrilla warrior by not following the conventional and organized warfare tactic and carrying on the unconventional warfare.
3. SSG started as Rangers
The first SSG unit was named 1 Ranger Unit. It was raised as a ranger unit by the US Rangers.
Now this ranger doesn’t refer to the common rangers term used in Pakistan (which is used for border security force which also does paramilitary tasks for peace keeping within cities too, as they were started as police rangers by British in 1942).
By definition, Rangers are highly skilled soldiers who can endure very harsh enviroments and operate in maximum physical and mental stress. However they are organized and state owned and not Guerrillas.
4. SSG commandos can kill anyone with bare hands
This is a very common myth and is not true. They are not well trained in unarmed combat in basic course and thus it’s only enough to enable them to survive when they don’t have any weapons. However they are not expert at martial arts or unarmed combat.
Which is also fine, as their task is to do specialized tasks and raids in an organized form and not unarmed combats.
5. SSG commandos are unorganized and work as they wish
This is a myth among many people, especially coz they consider SSG to be a Guerilla force, which it’s not.
SSG is a part of regular army and comes under Infantry and thus is similarly organized and have similar pattern and lifestyle.
Yes the life and routine of SSG is different from regular infantry, just like every arm in army has their own different lifestyle and pattern. However it’s similarly organized and follows same routine and code mainly.
6. Everyone in SSG is similarly skilled
Another myth is that every SSG soldier or a commando has the same training and skill set. It’s not.
By definition, Special Service Group means a group which is designed for special service. And thus it needs people with different knowledge and skill set. There are various training programs and setups which train people of numerous special skills which are needed through the SSG, such as:
- Anti terrorist force
- Ambhitious force
And so on.
Not everyone is skilled in all skills. In fact most are skilled in only one of these, or only the basic training.
Why all this confusion?
Mainly the confusion began with the incorrect (or different) naming convention of the Special Service Group.
The unit which was raised as a Rangers unit was renamed as Commando unit. There can be any reason to do that, however one that’s possible includes differentiating it from border security forces, called Rangers in Pakistan (again an incorrect naming convention on their behalf too).
Then SSG was utilized in guerriella warfare too in past, which confused the individuals into considering it a guerrilla organization, which by definition means something else, again an incorrect naming convention.