Lagunari Regiment "Serenissima"

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Lagunari Regiment "Serenissima"
Reggimento Lagunari "Serenissima"
CoA mil ITA rgt Lagunari.png
Regimental coat of arms
Active1 September 1957 - today[1]
Country Italy
BranchItalian Army
Part ofCavalry Brigade "Pozzuolo del Friuli"
Motto(s)"Come lo scoglio infrango, come l'onda travolgo"
Anniversaries25 June 1984 - Elevation to infantry speciality
DecorationsCavaliere BAR.svg Valor dell'esercito gold medal BAR.svg
Valor dell'esercito silver medal BAR.svg Croce al merito dell'esercito silver medal BAR.svg
1x Military Order of Italy
1x Gold Medal of Army Valour
1x Silver Medal of Army Valour
1x Silver Cross of Army Merit[2]
Lagunari gorget patches
Mostrina - Lagunari.png
Mostrina - Lagunari.png
Lagunari during an exercise in Capo Teulada (Sardinia)
Lagunari in Venice

The Lagunari Regiment "Serenissima" Italian: Reggimento Lagunari "Serenissima" is the only unit of the Lagunari, the Italian Army's infantry corps' amphibious speciality. The name of the specialty comes from the Italian word for lagoon (Italian: laguna), while the regiment's name "Serenissima" commemorates the Republic of Venice. The regiment is based in Venice and part of the Cavalry Brigade "Pozzuolo del Friuli". The "Pozzuolo del Friuli" brigade forms with the Italian Navy's Third Naval Division, and San Marco Marine Brigade the Italian military's Forza di protezione dal mare (National Sea Projection Capability).


During the Cold War, the regiment was stationed in the lagoon-rich south flank of the northeast Italian front. The Lagunari Regiment focused more on high intensity, conventional battlefields, such as those expected during the Cold War. Nowadays, its focus is on the more probable mid- and low intensity conflicts. The Lagunari have the ability to be projected to any hostile area around the globe due to their maneuverability. The Lagunari Regiment is versatile enough to be capable in conducting special operations under 'unconventional' methods while engaging on a 'conventional' battlefield. Today the Lagunari are intended for international missions, particularly in coastal regions and in areas rich in inland waterways.

The Lagunari Regiment is a littoral focused, amphibious, specialised light - medium force capable of deploying at short notice in support of the Italian military and diplomatic objectives overseas and is optimised for expeditionary warfare: operational situations requiring highly manoeuvrable, normally amphibious, forces. As the Italian Army's specialists in riverine operations the regiment provides assets and expertise for these operations. Held at a very high readiness they can respond quickly to events anywhere around the globe.

Italian National Sea-based Projection Capability[edit]

The Italian National Sea-based Projection Capability must allow the military Forces to conduct operations such as initial entry of a Landing Force into a hostile or uncertain environment as part of a "Forcible Entry" with the goal of carrying out the assigned mission. Such a Landing Force can also constitute an enabling factor for the entry of additional sea-based assets, according to the concept of "sea-basing". This concept, to be developed in a multinational or coalition context ("coalition sea-basing"), provides for the establishment at sea of the resources necessary to sustain an operation outside the area, in order not to have to depend on the consensus and/or support of third Countries. The development of a Sea-based Projection Capability requires a joint preparation and a joint training of units belonging to different services, in particular the Land Component and the Naval Component. The cornerstone of the operation is a Landing Force at the Brigade level, capable of carrying out the full spectrum of the operations requested for projected Amphibian Forces, as well as of developing the capacity to operate as "Entry Force Battlegroup". An expeditionary force, in addition to the capability to deploy complete packages of units to distant areas on short notice, must the capable to sustain them in the theatre ensuring personnel rotation, equipment efficiency, and communication, intelligence, C2, logistic and in-theatre mobility support. The expeditionary nature of a force is traditionally associated with amphibious units but it has now become a prerequisite for the entire military instrument. The core of the Italian "Joint Expeditionary Force" consists of a "Landing Force" (based on "San Marco" and "Serenissima" regiments) able to activate all the functions of Combat, Combat Support and Combat Service Support, thanks to the integration of existing capacity within the national military instrument.

Current structure[edit]

  • CoA mil ITA rgt Lagunari.png Regimental Command, in Mestre[3]
    • Command and Logistic Support Company, in Mestre
    • 1st Lagunari Battalion, in Venice-Malcontenta
      • 1st Lagunari Company "Marghera"
      • 2nd Lagunari Company "Piave"
      • 3rd Lagunari Company "Isonzo"
      • Maneuver Support Company, in Mestre
    • Amphibious Tactical Support Company, on Vignole Island
    • Training Company, in Mestre

The Command and Logistic Support Company fields the following platoons: C3 Platoon, Transport and Materiel Platoon, Medical Platoon, and Commissariat Platoon. The Lagunari companies are equipped with VTLM Lince vehicles and consist of three fusilier platoons and one maneuver support platoon. The Maneuver Support Company consists of a Heavy Mortar Platoon with 120mm mortars, an Anti-tank Platoon with Spike MR anti-tank guided missiles, and a Sniper Section. The Amphibious Tactical Support Company consists of Reconnaissance Platoon, an Amphibious Assault Vehicles platoon with AAV7-A1 amphibious assault vehicles, and a Boat Platoon with small landing craft and speedboats. In the near future the army plans to replace the AAV7-A1 with 82 Amphibious Combat Vehicles.[4]


The Lagunari are the heirs to the embarked troops of the Republic of Venice. In 1964, the Head of the Italian Army entrusted to the Lagunari Regiment "Serenissima" the traditions of this centuries-old unit. The birth of the embarked troops of Venice goes back to the time of the fourth crusade when the Doge "Enrico Dandolo" put together one Regiment of ten companies distributed on the warships of the Venetian fleet, and then employed them in the two captures of Constantinople (Bisanzio - 1203/1204). The embarked troops of Venice had their final organisation in 1550 becoming the "Fanti da Mar" (Infantry of the sea) and they distinguished themselves during all the wars that the Republic of Venice fought against the Ottoman Empire, especially during the sieges of Famagosta and Candia, and in the great victory in the battle of Lepanto. Since then, Venetian Fanti da Mar have taken part in more battles on land and sea around the world than any other branch of the modern Italian Army.

In 1951, the Italian army raised the Lagunari as an amphibious infantry unit. The Italian V Army Corps realized the need to secure its right flank against amphibious landings and due to the nature of the marshy tidal terrain and many small islands on the Northern Adriatic coast an amphibious unit was deemed the best answer to the needs of the Italian Army. Up to the army reform in 1975, the Lagunari Regiment consisted of three amphibious infantry and one tank battalion. Afterwards, it was reduced to two battalions: the amphibious infantry battalion "Serenissima" and the amphibious vehicles battalion "Sile" under the Amphibious Troops Command, which carried on the traditions of the regiment. The Amphibious Troops Command came under the Folgore Mechanized Division in 1975. When the Folgore was disbanded in 1986 the Command returned to the 5th Army Corps. In 1992, regiment was re-instituted and the two battalions merged into one. The regiment remained subordinate to the 5th Army Corps. Afterwards it came under the "Projection Forces Command" in Milan and later it joined the Pozzuolo del Friuli Brigade.

Today the Lagunari are intended for Army amphibious operation (shore to shore), riverine operations and international missions as specialized assault infantry. Plans to integrate the Lagunari into an amphibious brigade containing all Italian naval infantry, including the Navy's 1st San Marco Regiment failed in the 1990s, partly because of the distance between the respective bases: Venice and Brindisi.

In 2006, to establish closer cooperation between the two regiments, a Joint operations staff ("Forza Nazionale di Proiezione dal Mare") was established. The Italian Defense can fall back on the Army Lagunari and other support forces of the Army in cooperation with Navy units. The Navy San Marco unit can operate under Army control, if needed. Both organizations were used together for the first time, with support forces, in the UNIFIL operations after the 2006 Lebanon war as part of the Early Entry Force in September 2006: the Lagunari launched theirs AAVs from the Italian ship.

Italian Lagunari have long provided the Italian Armed Forces with a broad spectrum of response options when Italian and NATO interests have been threatened and in non-combat situations that require instant response to crisis. The Lagunari operates in rivers, bays, lagoons, across the littorals and ashore. The primary mission is to operate combat missions in the green water to shore and in the inland waters. Today, the Lagunari are the Italian Army's amphibious troops. An elite force held at very high readiness, they are trained for worldwide rapid response, able to deal with a wide spectrum of threats and security challenges.

Until 2011 the Lagunari Regiment wore the black Army beret of the Italian Army with their own traditional and distinctive badge (sea anchor above two rifles). On returning from service in Afghanistan during ISAF, they received a new beret in 'lagoon green' water color, retaining the same badge.

The Lagunari are part of the Joint Forza di proiezione dal mare (National Sea Projection Capability), commanded by an Army General or a navy Rear admiral.


Operations abroad[edit]

  • Operation "Constant Forge" Sarajevo –BOSNIA (September – December 1998);
  • Operation "Joint Guardian" Dakovica – KOSSOVO ( November 1999 – March 2000);
  • Operation "Consistent Effort" Pec / Klina – KOSSOVO ( February – June 2001);
  • Operation "Decisive Endeavour" Pec/Klina/Gorazdevac – KOSSOVO (2002-2003);
  • Operation "Antica Babilonia" IRAQ ( June 2003 – March 2005);
  • Operation "LEONTE" LEBANON ( August 2006 – April 2007);
  • Operation "LEONTE 5" LEBANON ( August 2008 – April 2009);
  • Operation "ISAF 15" AFGHANISTAN ( October 2010 – April 2011);
  • Operation "LEONTE 14" LEBANON (May 2013 – October 2013).

Collective awards[edit]

Military Order of Italy - per Decree of 24 June 2021: for service in Afghanistan: Farah in 2010-2011 and Herat in 2019.[5]

Gold Medal of Army Valour Per Decree of 26 April 2007 The Infantry Regiment participated in the “Ancient Babylon 4” operation in Iraq, included in the Italian Joint Task Force. In that violent theatre it showed military valour and generous altruism. With dedication and enthusiasm, along with ideals of human brotherhood, it carried out humanitarian and support activities in favour of the Iraqi population courageously opposing attacks by the enemy forces. Engaged in the activities for the foundation of the 604th Battalion of the Iraq National Guard, with dedication and determination it participated in the preparation and training of the units of the new Iraqi Army, reaching excellent results recognized by the coalition and local Authorities. In particular, it intervened in the revolts between 5th and 6th August 2004, after the attacks by militiamen along the Euphrates river in the city of Al-Nassiriyah, in order to defend the local Institutions. Extraordinary example of professional capabilities, courage, morality and military virtues, it contributed to increase the prestige of the Army on the international context. (Al-Nassiriyah – Iraq, 5–6 August 2004).

Silver Medal of Army Valour Decree of 13 March 2006 Reminding the traditions of the Marine soldiers, it was engaged in several rescue operations in favour of the civilian population hit by natural disasters but also in international rescue operations. In those circumstances, the personnel of the Regiment showed expertise, great sense of duty, spirit of sacrifice and courage in carrying out dangerous activities thanks to which it earned gratitude and admiration by the rescued operations and esteem by all the contingents of the other Nations that operated in international missions. Great example of civic and military virtues, courageous altruism and high professionalism that increased the prestige of the Italian Army on the international context. (National territory and Balkan theatre, 1951–2003).

Silver Cross of Army Merit Decree 27 July 2009 Included in the "Joint Task Force – Lebanon" and heir of the glorious traditions of the "Fanti da Mar" of the "Serenissima" Republic of Venice, the Infantry Regiment was employed in the Lebanese Operational Theatre, in a region characterized by continuous instability and conflict. With the determination and the enthusiasm of its soldiers, it gave important contribution in the peacekeeping operations. Thanks to its dedication and enthusiasm, supported by human brotherhood, it was a protagonist in the humanitarian and support activities in favour of the local population. Since the beginning of the operations, its marines have been the protagonist also in the construction of the "United Nations 2-1" base in Mara'ka, giving example of professionalism and sense of duty. The "Serenissima" Marines Regiment contributed to increase the prestige of Italy and of the Army on the international context. (Shama – Lebanon, 9 November 2006 – 13 April 2007).

In popular culture[edit]

In the videogame Call of Duty: Modern Warfare there is a skin for the player's soldier accurately representing a member of the Lagunari Regiment.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reggimento Lagunari "Serenissima" - La Storia". Italian Army. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Reggimento Lagunari "Serenissima" - Il Medagliere". Italian Army. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. ^ "La Forza di Proiezione dal Mare". Ares Osservatorio Difesa. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  4. ^ Esercito Italiano (2020). "Rapporto Esercito 2019" (PDF): 76. Retrieved 27 May 2020. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Bandiera di Guerra del Reggimento Lagunari "Serenissima" - Cavaliere Ordine Militare d'Italia". President of Italy. Retrieved 5 November 2021.

External links[edit]