Recruitment and Training in the French Foreign Legion

Recruitment and Training in the French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legionnaires in Afghanistan (Photo: Wiki)

Training in the Foreign Legion at the elite level. The two Parachute Regiment, a basic specialist training parachute course that lasts up to five weeks. For these few weeks, be sure to carry at least six rebounds, after which legionnaires get their “wings” (Parachute badge). Each of legionnaires during his career has to pass at least one specialist “Commando” course held in several centers across France. This training consists of training in climbing, setting traps and explosives, hand fighting techniques, methods of combat in urban areas, rowing, swimming in the sea without life jackets with combat rifle and knapsack …


Legionnaires’ is a basic weaponry automatic rifle FAMAS 5.56 mm caliber, designed in the early ’80s, made of plastic and fiberglass. Is similar to England’s automatic rifle, although much lighter and recognizable by the long handle for easy carrying. The gun can fire a single exercise, a short burst of three rounds, and continuous burst, and shell ejection can be set to the left and to the right. Also, can you fire a grenade and anti-tank missiles from 500g. Similar to M-16 rifle, is very sensitive to dust, sand and other debris, and requires appropriate treatment.

Holidays and salaries

Each legionnaire is entitled to annual leave of 15 days (in the first year of the contract), while the rest of entire 45 days in the fifth year of the contract period. During the rest legionnaires smijju not to leave French territory and must be reported to his unit. Salaries in the Legion are strictly defined and are not a secret. Shall be paid monthly in cash and, God forbid open any current or similar bank account. If desired, a member of this unit can get a bank account on which the concerned unit itself. Monthly payments can range from 975 euros for ordinary soldiers, to 1372 euros for legionnaires in the rank of Corporal. Salary depends on the unit or regiment in which legionnaire serves, as well as combat engagements. In the event that his regiment engaged in a combat environment, his pay could be double that.

Problem deserters

One of the biggest problems with which otherwise faced and other military units in the world, the problem of desertion.This problem is particularly pronounced in the Foreign Legion, in which the annual desert about a hundred soldiers.After at least three years loyal service to France, every legionnaire may require obtaining French citizenship. First of all, every legionnaire is a volunteer, who willingly joined this military unit, accepting all the responsibilities and risks.Most people who arrive at a way of escaping his past. Mass candidacy volunteers from Spain after the civil war in 1939 year, then recruits from Eastern Europe after 1945 year, and the former Yugoslavia – the early 90-ies of the last century, testifies to the fact that the people who join are difficult to adapt to the political and social changes in their environment. From other areas, mostly come from middle-class people who are dissatisfied with their lives and who are looking for adventure in the Legion.

Participation in the 1914 war:

  • 1914: And St. War, fighting legions engaged in France
  • 1939-1945: II vol. War, combat engagement in Norway, Libya, Tunisia, Italy and Germany
  • 1945: The beginning of the war in Indochina (Pu Tong Battle of Dien Bien Hoa and Pua)
  • 1954: return to Algeria, as security forces constantly present until 1962.
  • 1962nd to date: after leaving Algeria, regiments were stationed in Djibouti, Madagascar, Tahiti and French Guiana 1969-1970: two regiments engaged in operations in Chad in 1978: the release of a few hundred Europeans from certain death in Zaire today: involvement in peacekeeping missions around the world

Requirements for admission

Requirements for admission to the unit is very simple and clear, the candidate must have between 17 and 40 years of life, some of the valid identification documents, and must be in good physical shape. French language, which is the official language of the Legion, is learned during the adaptation phase, and almost all members of the unit after first year fully master the language. Admission of potential recruits is done in 16 regrutnih centers located throughout France. In these recruiting centers shall be first, and verification testing, primarily medical in nature. After these visits, recruits are sent to the center Obanj (Aubagne), 15km east of Marseille, where is located the headquarters of the command of the Legion of aliens. In this center recruits are subjected to various tests, surveys and interviews, lasting about three weeks. If you meet all the conditions set by signing a five-year contract and officially become recruits legions. After signing a contract legionnaires sent to basic training in the main training center Castenlaudry, 50 km from Toulouse. This basic training is done in gaining strength and stamina, mastering the handling of various weapons, survival in field conditions, learning marches …

During this phase of training and testing shall be physically strong, and some of them are: 8 km march with a rucksack weighing 12kg, which should be finished in one hour, 12 minutes running (all rushing over 2800m is a good result), climbing the rope without using legs, running with heavy 40kg bag of sand in 20 seconds, etc. In these tests, the fallen and all training will continue in their combat regiments. After completing basic training, legionnaires are classified into one of 11 units of the Foreign Legion.

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