Military elite

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Napoleon reviewing the Guard during the Battle of Jena, October 14, 1806

Elite military units are, by definition, units that require a much higher standard of competency for its personnel in comparison to regular units, therefore elite units are often tasked with more difficult tasks, whether it be highly specialised tasks such as operations deep behind enemy lines or less specialised tasks like being deployed at more fiercer points of enemy resistance.

Politically elite military units[edit]

Saddam Hussein talks with Republican Guard officers in Baghdad in 2003.[1]

The following description of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or Pāsdārān-e Enqelāb, can be seen as typical of the formation, evolution and continued raison d'Êtres of such organizations:[2]

...From the beginning of the new Islamic regime, the Pasdaran functioned as a corps of the faithful. Its role in national security evolved from securing the regime and eliminating opposition forces to becoming a branch of the military establishment...[and its] independent military power acted as a check on any possible coup attempts by the armed forces....

....the Pasdaran, under the guidance of such clerics as Abolqasem Lahouti and Hashemi-Rafsanjani, was also "to act as the eyes and ears of the Islamic Revolution" and "as a special task force of the Imam Khomeini to crush any counterrevolutionary activities within the government or any political usurper against the Islamic Government." Over the years the IRP's leadership used the Pasdaran to eliminate opposition figures and to enhance its own position.


  1. ^ "Republican Guard gets last chance against U.S. forces". Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Library of Congress Country Studies, Iran, Special and Irregular Armed Forces[page needed]