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How to Join NSG? Path to Joining the National Security Guard (NSG) in India

Learn about the National Security Guards (NSG), India's counter-terrorism force. Highly trained Black Cat Commandos responsible for countering terror threats, handling hijackings, and performing rescue operations. They recruit from various forces in India and provide intensive training. World-class zero error force.

How to Join NSG? The National Security Guard (NSG), an elite unit of the Indian security forces, is famed for its rigorous training and flawless operations. Often referred to as Men in Black or Black Cat Commandos, NSG commandos are renowned for their exceptional traits including speed, power, perfectionism, and quick decision-making. This article is dedicated to providing detailed information on the NSG and the process of joining this elite force.

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What is National Security Guard (NSG)

If you’re not well-versed with the National Security Guards (NSG), it’s crucial to understand that they were established in 1984 as a specialized commando force. Their key function involves dealing with terrorism and carrying out internal security operations. They fall under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and were initially founded for “Operation Blue Star”, with the objective to safeguard the nation from internal disruptions caused by any terrorist threats.

NSG Commandos Pic

The NSG is a counterterrorism force designed to react in exceptional circumstances, equipped to handle high-risk situations and maintain the security of the nation. Their capabilities extend to responding to any form of threat intended to inflict harm, and they are well-trained for diverse tasks. These tasks range from dealing with air and water hijacking situations to bomb disposal, conducting post-blast investigations, and performing hostage rescue operations.

Also Read: What is the NSG Commando Salary in India?

The inception of this specialized task force took place in 1984 when the Union Cabinet decided to fight terrorism within the country. A proposal to establish the same was introduced two years later in August, leading to the official creation of the National Security Guard force on September 22, 1986, after presidential approval.

One notable characteristic of the NSG is their preference to operate independently without interfering with local military or police forces. They are famous for their distinct qualities such as speed, power, precision, quick decision-making, and the element of surprise.

Often referred to as Phantoms, NSG Commandos, or Black Cat Commandos, they are rigorously trained to deal with any challenging or unexpected scenario. Once selected for the NSG, the personnel may even undergo advanced training in Israel.

It’s important to note that Black Cat Commandos are needed not only during extraordinary circumstances requiring a specialized task force but also for regular operations. Thus, only the best individuals from other military institutions in the country are selected for this elite force.

Joining the NSG isn’t a straightforward or easy process. One of the primary eligibility requirements is having prior service experience in the Indian defense forces. Eligible candidates may also come from the Central Armed Police Forces, including the CISF, CRPF, SSB, or BSF, collectively also known as the Indian Army.

Also Read: 10 Pictures Of NSG Commandos Show How Deadly They Are

NSG Basic Requirements

To be eligible to join NSG, candidates must meet certain basic requirements. These include holding a graduate degree in any subject area, being an Indian citizen, and having prior experience with the Indian defence forces. While candidates from the police force must have a minimum of five years of service, those from the Indian Army need only three years of service. The age limit for application is 35 years, and this restriction is not relaxed under any circumstances.

How to Join NSG

NSG Recruitment and Training

The selection process for the National Security Guard (NSG) is rigorous and challenging, with a dropout rate of approximately 70-80%. The training program spans 14 months and is divided into three distinct phases.

In the pre-selection phase, candidates undergo a series of tests designed to evaluate their physical and psychological capabilities. To proceed, candidates must meet specific physical, psychological, and educational criteria.

The next stage involves selection and basic training, which is conducted at the National Security Guard Academy in Manesar. Lasting for three months, this phase focuses on teaching the fundamentals. The physical fitness component is comprehensive, encompassing 26 elements, including navigating an obstacle-laden cross-country course, leaping from heights, crossing divides, and scaling various terrains. One endurance test involves martial arts and target shooting at the end of an obstacle-ridden cross-country run. These exercises aim to assess a candidate’s likely performance under stress and fatigue. Successful candidates then move on to nine months of advanced training.

The advanced training phase reportedly covers a broad range of techniques, from hand-to-hand combat, intelligence gathering, and demolition, to bomb disposal, insertion, and reflex shooting. Notable training exercises include the ‘combat room shoot,’ where candidates must shoot a target within three seconds of entering a dark room using torchlight or a compatible laser image intensifier, and ‘twin room shooting,’ where candidates enter adjacent rooms and react to each other’s movements on a screen, improving their response times. A distinct exercise requiring candidates to shoot a target placed next to a partner is also part of the Indian Army Special Forces training. Shooting skills are honed at a 400-meter, Zone electronic combat shooting range, where candidates are scored on a point scale for covering the distance in 6.30 minutes and firing at 29 different dynamic targets, with each target exposed for two to three minutes.

Must Read: 10 Most Dangerous Postings Of The Indian Armed Forces

NSG Salary and Benefits

The Indian Armed Forces are renowned for offering high salaries and benefits to their personnel. An NSG commando receives an average annual wage of approximately Rs. 10-15 lakhs, along with various degrees of bonuses. Additional benefits include travel reimbursements, free accommodation at the government quarter, free education resources for children, medical services, permanent pension kit maintenance benefits, field area payments, high altitude allowances, and special forces’ allowances, among others.

NSG Commando with US Army
NSG Commando with US Army

NSG Units and Organisation

The National Security Guards (NSG) is primarily composed of three distinct groups: the Special Action Group (SAG), Special Ranger Group (SRG) and the Special Composite Group(SCG).

  • Special Action Group (SAG): The SAG, accounting for over half of the NSG’s total force, is primarily drawn from the Indian Army. Therefore, those aspiring to join the NSG have a notable opportunity once they have been inducted into the army. Recruitment occurs across various ranks, from rangers to assistant commandants, with eligibility requirements guiding the recruitment process. Candidates can seek higher posts by choosing paths like the Combined Defense Services (CDS) or National Defense Academy (NDA) exams, which lead to commissioned officer roles in the army. Alternatively, direct recruitment through rallies is another way to join the Indian Army. Once you have joined the army, the pathway to joining the NSG becomes more accessible.
  • Special Ranger Group (SRG): The SRG, on the other hand, is considered the police component of the NSG and includes personnel from the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Rapid Action Force. This group’s primary responsibility is to provide security to VIPs, and it operates in a support role to the SAG. After serving in the NSG for 3-5 years, SRG members are typically sent back to their parent organizations, helping maintain the NSG’s youthful profile. Candidates who wish to join the NSG via the SRG can do so by applying for the CAPF (Assistant Commandant) examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Central Police Organisation (CPO) examination by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), or through direct recruitment rallies in the CAPF forces. Induction into these forces paves the way for a potential position within the NSG.
  • Special Composite Group(SCG): The Special Composite Group (SCG) of the National Security Guard (NSG) in India is a distinguished unit tasked with handling counter-terrorism operations. This group is often deployed in high-stakes scenarios such as hostage situations, hijackings, and terrorist attacks. Comprised of highly trained commandos, the SCG recruits its members from various segments of India’s armed forces, including the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). These commandos undergo rigorous training in skills such as close-quarter combat, marksmanship, handling explosives, and tactical operations. Armed with state-of-the-art weaponry including assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, and grenades, the SCG is well-equipped to handle high-risk scenarios. The unit also employs specialized equipment, such as night-vision goggles, body armor, and communication devices, to carry out operations effectively. Beyond its core role in counter-terrorism operations, the SCG plays a crucial part in training and aiding other Indian law enforcement agencies. It also participates in joint exercises and training initiatives at the international level alongside other special forces units. The five SCG units are:26 SCG Mumbai, 27 SCG Chennai, 28 SCG Hyderabad, 29 SCG Kolkata, 30 SCG Gandhinagar.
NSG Commandos

NSG Rank Structure



Enlisted ranks

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Flag of National Security Guard NSG

Flag of National Security Guard

Insignia of National Security Guard NSG

Insignia of National Security Guard NSG

Weapons used by NSG Commando

Small ArmsGlock-17 semi-automatic pistol
SIG SG 551 assault rifle
Ak-63D 7.62x39mm assault rifle
Beretta AR70/90 Assault rifle
Franchi SPAS-15 Combat shotgun
TriCa 7.62×39 mm Carbine
M249 Light machine gun
Heckler & Koch MSG90 sniper rifle
Heckler & Koch PSG1 A1 sniper rifle
IWI Tavor X95 bullpup rifle
Barrett Model 98B Sniper rifle
Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun
SIG MPX Submachine gun
Glock knives
CornerShot guns
DronesBlack Hornet Nano military micro UAV
‘Kamikaze’, an Indian drone
Vehicles and transportRemote-Operated Vehicle, which can transport 150 kg of Improvised explosive device and, alternatively, can transport biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear material
Maruti Suzuki Gypsy
Ford F550 Super Duty tactical ladder truck
Renault Sherpa Light Armoured Personal Carrier
The NSG has access to Indian Air Force transport aircraft

How to Join NSG National Security Guard

  • NSG commandos are typically selected from individuals already serving in the Indian Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, and Navy) or CAPF (Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)). Therefore, the first step towards joining the NSG is to be part of these forces.
  • Once you have sufficient experience and have demonstrated exceptional skills in the Armed Forces or CAPF, you can apply for the NSG. Keep an eye on internal job postings within your force, and express your interest to your superiors.
  • If your application is accepted, you will undergo a demanding selection process, which includes physical tests, mental aptitude tests, psychological tests, and interviews. This process is designed to identify individuals with the physical endurance, mental toughness, and strategic thinking skills required for the NSG.
  • If you pass the selection process, you will then undergo a rigorous 14-month training program. This includes basic training, specialized training, probation, and continuous training. Basic training involves physical conditioning, small unit tactics, explosives identification, and handling, etc. Specialized training focuses on areas such as counter-terrorism, VIP security, etc. The probation period is a final test before induction into the force. Continuous training occurs even after induction to ensure NSG commandos are always ready for any situation.
  • After successful completion of the training program, you will be inducted into the NSG as a Black Cat Commando.

What is Required to be an NSG Commando

Beyond the physical requirements and examinations, there are certain attributes that are highly desirable in candidates for the NSG. These include quick reflexes, high fitness levels, patience, active concentration, self-confidence, critical thinking, teamwork, technical proficiency, acceptance of criticism, self-discipline, dedication, and respect for NSG values.


Joining the NSG requires a blend of physical endurance, mental toughness, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to the service of the nation. The selection process is rigorous and demands exceptional levels of perseverance and resilience from candidates. The NSG commandos, or “The Black Cats,” represent the epitome of India’s security forces, and only the best among the best get to wear the prestigious black uniform.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I join NSG directly?

You cannot join NSG directly; you have to first serve in the Indian Army or Police Forces, and then qualify for selection.

What is the salary of NSG?

The salary of NSG commandos varies widely based on rank, experience, and role, generally falling within the pay scales of the Indian Army and Police Forces.

Which exam is required for NSG?

There isn’t a specific exam for NSG; selection is based on service record, physical fitness, and performance in rigorous internal tests while serving in the Indian Army or Police Forces.

What is the age to join NSG?

The age limit varies but typically, NSG commandos are selected from personnel aged between 20-30 years in the Indian Army or Police Forces.

Can a female join NSG Commando?

Yes, females can also be NSG Commando. There are many women serving in NSG at the moment.

The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.
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