Germany’s postwar commando amphibious warfare force are called the Kampfschwimmer (“Combat Swimmers”, abbreviated “KSM”) or Verwendungsgruppe 3402 (Deployment Group 3402). They are the only special-purpose force of the German Navy. The Kampfschwimmer were set up when Germany joined NATO in 1955. After three years of training, the time has come: certification as a German Kampfschwimmer or “battle swimmer.” In a simple ceremony the new naval commando receives his insignia, his certification papers, and his unique Kampfschwimmer serial number. He is officially inducted into the Kampfschwimmer community â€“ a community which still numbers a mere 300 members 55 years after its founding. The induction is completed when the inductee formally transfers out of the Training Company and reports for duty with the operational Kampfschwimmer Company under the eyes of all active duty Kampfschwimmer. If a commando is qualified he will be assigned a specialty. His preferences and skills will be taken into consideration. The rule is: if you enjoy a task, you will do it thoroughly. Depending on the chosen specialty the trainee will be assigned to national and/or international training programs. Career servicemembers usually qualify in several specialties over time.
(Video: Bundeswehr / KSM)