How to Join Para SF in Indian Army?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Here is the detailed procedure for how to join Para SF in Indian army. Para special force is the special operation unit of the Indian Army which is one of the best special forces units that we have. The Para SF belongs to Parachute Regiment which consists of an airborne infantry regiment too.

A Para SF Soldier can be identified by his uniform – it consists of Maroon Beret, has shoulder title (PARA) and Balidaan badge. When a soldier wears Maroon Beret he doesn’t have to speak for himself as it speaks about who they are and what they are capable of, the badge and beret speak a ton about his skills and training. Here we will discuss how to join Para special forces and earn the Balidaan Badge.


Selection Procedure of Para SF:

There has been no standard devised procedure for selection among Para SF. All Indian paratroopers are volunteers and are chosen on Merit. Some enter the Parachute regiments fresh from recruitment, while others transfer in from regular army units.

Pre Commission – Volunteer GCs (Ground cadets) from IMA/OTA is commissioned at a scale of two officers per battalion per year. These officers are attached to a parent regiment by MS Branch.

Post Commission – Officers from all Army Units can volunteer for the Parachute Regiment provided their years of service on the day they volunteer/application is less than five and they are in medical category SHAPE-I and being graded ‘EXCELLENT’ in BPET(Battle Physical Efficiency Training). These officers will retain their affiliation to their Regiment as parent regiment.

BPET involves 5 km of running which is to be completed in a specific time and a group of physical exercises such as long jump, monkey rope, etc. It also involves physical exercises including running that should be completed with 15–20 kg battle load along with 7 kg of the personal rifle.

The volunteered officers are put through a probation period of:

  1. 03 months for Paratroopers (Airborne) Battalions
  2. 06 months for Para (Special Forces) Battalions

All personnel are first required to qualify as Paratroopers in order to be a Para (Special Forces).

Once selected, the candidates may opt to advance to the SF selection, that takes place twice a year in the spring and the autumn term.

How to Join Para SF in Indian Army?

It is amongst the longest and toughest training in the world where the candidate is put through humiliation, exhaustion, sleep deprivation and mental and physical torture.

The selection rarely touches above 10 percent which is 1% of the total Indian army strength.

Even if a candidate clears, he isn’t formally introduced into the regiment until the completion of the Balidan Padh where, after training, a candidate is involved in active hostile zone operations for a year.

Provided the candidate outlives the Balidan Padh, he’s given the Balidan Badge and is formally inducted into the regiment.

Overview of the Para Special Forces:

It is attached to the Parachute Regiment. The 9 Para SF was raised as 9th Parachute Commando Battalion in 1966.

The motto of Para SF:

Men apart, every man an emperor: With respect to the Para SF, it means that although all of them together are unbeatable, even if you consider each man of the Para separately, He is an Emperor.

History of Para SF:

The 50th Parachute Brigade was created before Independence by the British Army in Oct 1941 and consisted of :

  • The British 151st Parachute battalion
  • The British India Army 152nd Parachute Battalion
  • 153rd Gurkha Parachute Regiment

In 1944 the 50th Parachute Brigade was attached to the newly formed 44th Airborne division. The then C-in-C nominated 3 battalions that became the part of the brigade which were:

  • 1 Para (Punjab)
  • 2 Para (Maratha)
  • 3 Para (Kumaon)

The three battalions serving the Parachute brigade were removed from their respective infantry regiment to form the PARACHUTE REGIMENT in 1952. The Parachute regiment has:

  • 9 Special Forces
  • Five Airborne
  • Two Territorial Army
  • One Counter Insurgency Battalion

Headquarter: Bengaluru

How to Join Para SF in Indian Army?

Honours and Awards:

The Para Regiment has been honored 8 Ashok Chakras, 11 Mahavir Chakras, 21 Kirti Chakras, 106 Shaurya Chakras, 63 Vir Chakras, 491 Sena Medals, and the list continues to grow.

How to Join Para SF in Indian Army?


During operations, soldiers of PARA and PARA (SF) Regiments are assigned with the tasks, that are of special in nature and demand very high standards of physical fitness and mental robustness.

In order to carry out the special operations, they are required to undergo special training at the respective battalions after clearing their probation. Based on their aptitude they may undergo specialized training in any of the following:

  • Combat Free Fall
  • Under Water Diving
  • Paramotor Pilot
  • IGLA and A/Tk Missile Pilot
  • Rock Craft and Ice Craft

The 1 Para (SF) is trained in covert and open operation; 2, 3 and 4 Para (SFs) are trained in urban warfare, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special recognition, etc.

5, 6, 7 and 8 para are not specialized in any specific warfare as they are airborne units.

How to Join Para SF in Indian Army?

The 9 Para SF is trained in the urban jungle, desert and mountain warfare.

The 10 Para (SF), a 9 Para (SF) residue, is PARA’s toughest battalion, trained in desert warfare, and trained in all other warfare.

The 21 Para (SF) is permanently stationed in the North East and is highly trained in Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare and Guerrilla Warfare as well as being the best in camouflage and concealment as well as snipping.

How to Join Para SF in Indian Army?

Recent Development:

Indian Army’s Special Forces to get new weapons. Services Capital Acquisition Plan Categorization Higher Committee (SCAPHCC) cleared the acquisition of 1500 carbines, 1100 rifles, 400 parachutes, 100 sniper rifles. The total cost of the acquisition is estimated to be about Rs 850 crore.

More from us:

Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium