Military Wiki
Naval Infantry
Морська пiхота
Ukr kokarda 01.jpg
Cap badge (cockade) of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry
Active May 23, 1918 -
Country  Ukraine
Branch  Ukrainian Navy
Type Marines
Role Amphibious warfare
Size 2 battalions
Part of 36th separate brigade of coastal defense
Always faithful
Anniversaries November 16[1]
Engagements Ukrainian War of Independence
2014 Crimean crisis
War in Donbass
Lt. Col. Dmytro Delyatytskyy (1st Bn.);
Temporary Acting Bt. Cmdr. Lt. Col. Roman Malanchuk (501st Bn.)
Tactical recognition flash Marines ukraine5.jpg

Question book-new.svg

The factual accuracy of this article may be compromised due to out-of-date information

The Naval Infantry (Ukrainian language: Морська піхота ) is a branch of the Ukrainian Navy. It is used as a component part of amphibious, airborne and amphibious-airborne operations, alone or in accordance with formations and units of the Army in order to capture parts of the seashore, islands, ports, fleet bases, coast airfields and other coast objects of the enemy. It can also be used to defend naval bases, vital areas of the shore, separate islands and coast objects, security of hostile areas.[2]


Act independently during attacks on enemy's naval installations, ports, islands and coastal areas. Clear the enemy's coastal areas & provide security during the landing of the main force.[3]

The motto of "Always Faithful" is the same as of the US Marine Corps "Semper Fidelis".



A Ukrainian Naval Infantry BTR-80 takes part in Exercise Sea Breeze 2010.

Former Russian Imperial army general Pavlo Skoropadskyi understood the importance of naval infantry in providing security to the country. Being the commander-in-chief of land and naval forces, Skoropadskyi brought attention to creating the naval infantry during his first month in power. On May 23, 1918 he ordered the Department of Navy to Begin forming a Brigade of naval infantry consisting of three regiments.[4]

The mission of the Naval Infantry was protecting the coastal areas, serving as a garrison force for forts and conducting landing operations. According to the order the Brigade was divided into three regiments. First regiment was responsible for the areas between the western border until the village of Suchavka, near Odesa. Second regiment was responsible for territory between Suchavka and Stanislavov. Third regiment protected the areas from Stanislavov until Perekop. Brigade was also put in charge of guarding the property of the Navy Department.[4]

Each of the three regiments consisted of three kurens. Each kuren consisted of three Sotnia and a machine gun unit. Commandant of the first regiment was Ilarion Isaievych.[4]

On August 31, 1918 each unit was given the permanent headquarters. First regiment's HQ was located in Odesa, second's HQ in Mykolaiv and third's HQ in Kherson. Also at this time 3 squadrons of cavalry were formed. First was stationed in Odesa, second in Ochakiv and third in Perekop.[4]

In October 1918 new recruits born in 1899, would have joined the ranks of the naval infantry, however due to the political situation of that autumn the recruits had to wait until a better time.[4]

Not long after, Pavlo Skoropadskyi was removed from power in an uprising led by Symon Petliura. The Naval Infantry continued to faithfully serve their nation under the banner of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Many of them have died for freedom and independence.[4]

Modern history

A Ukrainian naval infantryman armed with a Dragunov sniper rifle takes part in Exercise Northern Light '03 on the west coast of Scotland.

On February 22, 1993, the 880th Separate Naval Infantry Battalion of the Black Sea Fleet commanded by Major Vitaliy G. Rozhmanov pledged their allegiance to Ukraine.[3][5]

After the Naval Forces were created on July 1, 1993, the first battalion of the Naval Infantry was formed in the city of Sevastopol.[3][6] The first naval infantrymen were transferred from the airmobile units. On September 1, 1993, the 41st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion was formed. By September 20, 1994, the 4th Naval Infantry Brigade was stationed in the Tylove village of Crimea.[6] From May 1996 until 1998, the Brigade was a part of the Ukrainian National Guard.[6] In 1998, it was transferred to the Navy and re-designated the 1st Separate Naval Infantry Brigade.[6] In 1999, the Brigade consisted of two battalions numbering 1,500 marines.[7] During 2003–04, the The Ukrainian armed forces underwent a program to reduce the number of brigades, and the Naval Infantry Brigade was reduced to a Battalion.[6]

Ukraine marines and naval corpsmen simulating casualty extraction using a Mi-8 during the multinational Sea Breeze exercise in 2011.

The command of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine made a decision to form a new naval infantry battalion by force of a mechanised battalion located in Kerch. In December 2013 the militaries of the new 501st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion have taken the Naval Infantry Oath.[8]

The 1st Separate Naval Infantry Battalion was under the jurisdiction of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade,[3] and it was stationed in Feodosiya and there was also another one battalion (501st Bn.) which was stationed in Kerch; both were in the Crimea until late March 2014. After the Russian annexation of the Crimea the battalions were deployed to another location out of the peninsula. As of April 2014 the battalions began to reman because a majority of military personnel swore allegiance to Russian Federation in Crimea.[citation needed] After the annexation of Crimea Ukraine's marine forces composed of only about 200 active duty personnel.[9]

Special reconnaissance units of the marine corps were deployed against insurgents during the 2014 War in Donbass.[10] Currently, the Marine Corps Ukraine is preparing to send to the war in the Donbass.[11][12][13][14] In September 2014 Ministry of Defense announced that the marine corps were reforming from the Crimea Crisis and the remaining members of the 1st Marine Battalion which was stationed in Feodosya would take an active part in the War in Donbass.[15]


The ideal goal in the reform of the Naval Infantry Corps is to form a unit which would be similar to the units sent to Iraq. It is planned that there will be no more conscripts in the Naval Infantry, only professional naval infantrymen.[16]

Armed Forces of Ukraine
Emblem of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg
Main branches
Emblem of the Ukrainian Air Force.svg Air Force
Emblem of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.svg Ground Forces
Emblem of the Ukrainian Navy.svg Navy
Other Corps
Ukr marines.jpg Naval Infantry
Ukr mechanized.jpg Mechanized Forces
Ukr airborne.jpg Airmobile Forces
Related Services
Emblem of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.svg Ministry of Defence
General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg General Staff
Emblem of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.svg Military Intelligence Service
History of the Ukrainian Military
History of Ukraine during WWII
History of Ukraine during WWI


1918 structure

  • 1st Regiment - Odesa
    • 1st Kuren
      • 1st Sotnia
      • 2nd Sotnia
      • 3rd Sotnia
      • machine gun unit
    • 2nd Kuren
    • 3rd Kuren
  • 2nd Regiment - Mykolaiv
  • 3rd Regiment - Kherson
  • 1st Cavalry Squadron - Odesa
  • 2nd Cavalry Squadron - Ochakiv
  • 3rd Cavalry Squadron - Perekop

1998 structure

  • Separate Air Assault Battalion "Lion"
  • Separate Air Assault Battalion "Berkut"
  • Separate Air Assault Reconnaissance Battalion "Sword"
  • Separate Combat Engineer Battalion "Crab"
  • Separate Signal Company
  • Anti-Tank Battalion
  • Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion
  • Artillery Battalion
  • Artillery Battalion

Current structure

Today, all of the naval infantry are organized into 2 battalions - 1st and 501st[8] Separate Naval Infantry Battalions.[3][6]

  • 1st Naval Infantry Company
  • 2nd Naval Infantry Company
  • 3rd Air Assault Company[17]
  • Mortar Battery
  • Reconnaissance Platoon

See also


  1. (Ukrainian) "Турчинов оголосив 16 листопада Днем морської піхоти". 3/41/2014. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  2. Structure of Ukrainian Armed Forces
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Військо України"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Морська Держава :: Головна сторiнка - Анонси
  5. Тенюх Ігор Йосипович
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Морская пехота - состав и дислокация ч2
  7. Microsoft Word - Neutrality-UA_m.doc
  8. 8.0 8.1 (Ukrainian) "Воїни керченського батальйону склали клятву морського піхотинця". Уніан. 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  9. Корреспонден На маленьком флоту. На что сейчас способны остатки украинского флота
  11. Новости Одессы. В Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО
  12. Викна-Одесса. В Одессе, Николаеве и Киеве собирают помощь для морских пехотинцев, отправляющихся в АТО
  13. Одесская жизнь. Стало известно, кого из военных моряков отправляют в зону АТО
  14. Остатки морской пехоты отправят на Донбасс (видео)
  16. Міністерство оборони України - Новини
  17. (Ukrainian) Marine paratroopers received German jump wings