From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
Maybe somebody should have defined "elite" before you started the argument. Blackhorse made a good effort to define it in his treatise, but I think he overlooked a few points.
Personally, I think the word is overused, and in practice by military "experts" is usually reserved for mythical units on the other side to instill determination in one's own side. "Ok, gentlemen, were up against the 'elite' 1st Panzer Division. Get your stuff [sic] together."
The mass media, of course, use the term for no good reason, ever. To them, "elite" means the unit can march and chew gum at the same time. "The (insert country) _________ 'elite' 5th division stands in the US troops way," they say, as the 5th Division retires in utter disorder at a level unseen since Bull Run. Or, alternatively, they use it as a way to say that the other side's troops are superior and will kick our patoots. "President Jones has US units facing 'elite' troops from ____________, and must therfore take this into consideration before ordering in the Marines."
The most frequent use, however, is by individual soldiers and marines who are in a bar with a woman, or very soon, another man. "I'm in the 'elite' mess section of the 1st battalion," one might say. "We're deploying in the morning." It always worked in the past. Well, sometimes.
So, are the gyrines elite? I don't know. Maybe. Probably. Were they well trained? Well, maybe. But not by today's standards. There was a war to fight and deployed units needed replacements. What I do know is that they had more "warrior spirit" than just about any army unit at the time. Maybe the espirit de corps they had qualifies them. Maybe.
So, there, I've givein a definitive answer. Maybe.