| 1976 – Present|
| Special Operations Force|
The 1st Para-Commando Battalion (also known as The Cheetahs) is an elite Commando unit in the Bangladesh Army, established in 1976 inspired by the British Special Air Service. Headquartered in Sylhet, its raising Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel Md. Zahurul Alam (retired as Brigadier General in 2010). Some renowned officers of this unit are (before raising this unit, they were commandos but they were not in any commando unit. But now the commando unit has been raised so that their name has been kept in this unit. They all are war heroes, so it's also an honor for this unit): Late Lieutenant General Ziaur Rahman, Late Brigadier Khaled Mosharraf, Late Colonel A.T.M. Haider, Late Colonel Abu Taher, Lieutenant Colonel (Shaheed) Abdus Salam, Lieutenant Colonel Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Colonel Saiful Islam, Late Major M. Anwar Hossain (Hell Commando) etc.
Though the Commando Battalion is headquartered in Sylhet, they are under the authority of the Army Headquarters. More specifically, their orders for mobilization is mandated by the Chief of the General Staff of the Bangladesh Army. The Commando Battalion constantly remains on standby so that they can be mobilized expeditiously without delay.
1st Para-commando Battalion Wikipedia
Hostage rescue and personnel recovery
Lieutenant General Ziaur Rahman
Colonel Abu Taher,
Colonel A.T.M. Haider,
Lieutenant Colonel (Shaheed) Abdus Salam
Lieutenant Colonel Md. Mustafizur Rahman,
Lieutenant Colonel MM. Imrul Hassan
Major M. Anwar Hossain
Commandos are trained to operate in any kind of missions at home and abroad. Their missions include (but are not limited to):
On 1 July 2016, five assailants stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery with crude bombs, machetes,ak 22 rifle and pistols, in Dhaka's affluent neighborhood, Gulshan 2, which is extremely popular among expatriates and foreigners, at roughly 9:20 pm, taking hostage of the locals and foreigners inside. Not realizing the gravity of the situation, the initial assault to secure the premises, commenced by Dhaka Metropolitan Police, resulted in the casualties of two police officers in exchanging gun-fire with the assailants.
However, Police and the Rapid Action Battalion acted with celerity in setting up a perimeter around the Bakery to block escape of any assailant. After fruitless hours of seeking to bring a peaceful solution to the problem, when the perpetrators refused to communicate with authorities, the realization set that alternative measures were required.
At an early morning meeting on Saturday (2 July), the highest level of Government decided to engage the Commando Battalion. They were flown in from Sylhet to carry out a counterassault and free the hostages. After gathering intelligence from RAB and the Police forces present on the ground, Commandos initiated their raid (codenamed "Operation Thunderbolt"), which began at 7:40 am and concluded at 8:30 am. They were successfully able to free 13 hostages and kill the assailants.
During the attack, 9 Italians, 7 Japanese, 2 Bangladeshis, 1 Indian, and 1 American were killed by the perpetrators.