The French Foreign Legion.


New Member
I just came from Aubagne (French Foreign Legion)rejected, If anyone has any questions, here are the few I can answer.

1. Just about everyone who was on my bus from Paris to Aubagne got a new name.
2. Not being able to speak any French (although I understood alot) didn't seem to matter
3. If you are American (like me) they will ask you repeatedly if your sure you want to do this
4. There are more than alot of Eastern Europeans in the ranks.
5. The initial Medical check-up at your parent recruiting station (not Aubagne) will be far from thorough, it will be by a nurse practitioner of sorts. I went through an eye exam and EKG, he checks the ankles, not for scars or scar tissue, but for a strong pulse, if you have a weak pulse in your ankles you have a weak heart pumping your blood or just arteriosclerosis, next, the commanding Physician will check your ******* without pressing hard against the Abdominal Wall and (checking respiration) by removing the stethoscope before your inspirations and the Otoscope for the Ears and Throat. Very thorough. (sarcasm)
6. The Psychometrictechnique tests (which there were 4 of them, and LISTEN CAREFULLY! If you do not make it to the 4th test you will be sent home) are strong, this will be assured to you prior to going to Aubagne and I am assuring you now. Also, if Aubagne is not your recruiting station (meaning outside of Aubagne) you will undergo a mock cooper test. If you fail miserably you might be turned away there, if you barely pass the cooper test you will still be sent to Aubagne, but will have to retake the Cooper test in Aubagne. The Psychometrictechnique tests consists of pattern recognition with numbers i.e a succession of numbers within triangles with you, finding the missing one (number), AND being able to reform unfolded 3-d tetris shapes in your head w/o pen or paper, each of the 4 answers will have the unfolded shape reformed in a specific position. The unfolded shapes will have corners either shaded black or shaded with lines, when reformed they will have to match up to 3 of the possibilities, it will be up to you to decipher which answer is correct and there is more than one answer and it is timed. Given the fact that I must be a total idiot to have failed this test and sent home has given me an unquenchable desire to study for the next 18 months and return for another shot at it.
7. If you fail this test you will be discharged with 2 pieces of paper. (1) will be the relinquishment of your new name, the (2) will be the reason for rejection. If you fail the Psycho it will say inaptitude for enlistment and subsequently will not be eligible for another 18 months.
8. Considering the showmanship in the courtyard with the pull-up bar, and dip-bars with a small looped track for running I was among the top 10 of the fittest individuals out of the 120. There are some extremely fit Europeans that are capable of between 12 and 19 pull-ups. However, this was in a resting capacity and not during the physical test so there actual aerobic capacity I could not measure, but their level of fitness I would still not underestimate.
9. When they ask you what your proficiencies are, you will say: Karate,Judo,Scuba Diving, Swimming,First Aid,Climbing..Etc, understand? everything your good at or qualified to do. This will make you more of an asset to the legion.
10. The time you may spend there is incalculable. I went into Paris on Monday and was sent to Aubagne on Thursday Morning, Psyche-tested on Thursday afternoon and sent packing on Friday, but there were guys in Paris that had been there two weeks. I caught a nasty flu which peaked Tuesday and coincidently abated on the day of my departure, which brings me to another testament. Eastern Europeans are not very sanitary, so watch as you are in the marching and chow line to the people that are blowing snot-rockets bare-handed or coughing into their hands and plunging them into the huge bread baskets, this is probably how I became sick.
11. I have no regrets and no ill will towards the Legion. I want to be a Legionnaire and vow to return smarter and stronger than my previous plight. I do have to mention that some of comraderie looked too close for comfort, but then I guess somethings you have to deal with considering the laws over there are different and homosexuality is tolerated by far.. more than the U.S.
12. They will give you around 70 euros on the day of your departure.
13. Watch for the theives, they are everywhere, even if they're well dressed. They are wolfs in sheeps clothing.
If there's any other questions you think I might now, ask me....
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My friend, i truly appreciate your sharing this with us, and especially me. I made the decision to join the legion if i was rejected for reenlistment from the army (which i was for assaulting an officer, which subsequently was dropped because of my csm and colonel's serious string pulling.) I USED to be a ranger and then moved onto "other" fields of operation when i got into an altercation with an infantry "officer," who called me a scumbag for serving in the more delicate fields of my operational specialty.

I truly hope all works out for the best in both our case, and to one day sport a kepi blanc with you.

sarge b
Thanks for sharing. Im going to Paris on the 29th this month. Can u give me some tips bfore i get there? Im 21/no prev. milt.service.Any info will be great! all i know is from a legion book and youtube. Thanks
Thanks for sharing. Im going to Paris on the 29th this month. Can u give me some tips bfore i get there? Im 21/no prev. milt.service.Any info will be great! all i know is from a legion book and youtube. Thanks'll soon find out then won't you...Perhaps the research should have been done OUTSIDE of a week before finding out first hand.

Your entire world is about to change, and if your life has been relatively sheltered...well...I think you're going to find out quickly how good you've had it. You'll see, I promise.

Reply to the response by BRINKTK: This short comment by this particular respondent which is a commentary on someone wanting to join FFL is one of the most spot on the money commentaries on the web. When carefully examined, it is an instructive warning to those who would leap without looking. There is always some youngster who has built a fantasy image from media about FFL and you feel like watching a drunk stagger out onto a railroad track with a train coming and there is no way you can reach him in time. This guy will not make it through the process and they will do him a favor by sending him home. The famous joke in the legion was the question "why did you join the legion?" the answer was "I joined to forget". and the question again "what were you trying to forget?" The answer was always "I don't know, I forgot." A hundred years ago I suffered the death of a three year old, the loss of a wife, the destruction of a marriage, and the ruin of a business--all in the same year. I needed some pain that would be greater than the pain I was already living. And I found it. And it worked. Every legionnaire is two people, the person he really is, carrying the destruction of whatever life he led before. The other person is the legionnaire that he is which is built by training and discipline. The Legion cares only about the legionnaire person and your inner person and it's problems are your own to deal with as you can. No one joins the legion if you have anything going for you in life, overlaying personal pain and problems with even greater pain and hardship is, in the end, a distraction that only delays the inevitable. At the end, you still have to deal with your own personal deficiencies and some, sadly, do not make it. You will live an alternate reality while in the Legion, after the legion, you have to re-build the best life that you can with some meaning. For some who are thrill seekers, they will find them but they will trade a piece of their soul to make it through, the person who comes out is not the person who goes in. There are no parades, no veteran organizations, no welcome home committee, no special days, and no benefits for the foreign soldier. Only scars and memories. I wonder if this guy that wants to join knows that the legion will send him where he can die and there is no guarantee of survival. Any of you guys that think you want this better know you are risking your life and the legion is no theme park. I served two foreign militaries and came home with my citizenship intact. I rebuilt my life long ago but I would trade it all to be able to sit and drink coffee again with the best friend who was closer than a brother, we almost shared the same brain. I have to travel half way around the world just to visit his resting place and say I miss you. This is the legacy of this kind of thing, so if you want to do it, go ahead and jump into the fire but take a minute and read over BRINKTK's comment one more time.
I too am feeling the sting of the fallen once again. I found out this morning one of the NCO's I served with that I respected the most was killed on Sunday in Afghanistan.

I try to mentor kids to the challenges they will face when entering the world of the warrior. It's not for the feint of heart or the weak of mind. Those of us who have been initiated in the fire and death of combat know better than to think that there is anything but fear, pain, and sorrow in what we do. We do what we must and hope that someday the trepidations we endure will be able to heal over the scars of battlfields faced. Telling these kids is not enough, experience has taught me they will try anyways. So as a leader I just have to prepare them for the worst...and hope for the best. Once the vicious cycle revolves and they are now aware of what the cost is, they will know what we know, and they will understand why we do what we do. Sadly, with their own burdens and sacrfice in tow.
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I was lucky not to have gone to Vietnam, I actually put in for it in basic (reverse psycology). Years later I went to the wall and found 4 guys names engraved, that I went thru basic training with. Every one gave me the vibe that they would be cannon fodder when we trained. I would not have wanted any of those guys near me in combat.
This is quite the old thread you managed to bring up eh, senojekips?

Whether or not it's everybodys cup of tea to go to war, it was still some interesting information the OP gave us. Then again the FFL has always had some mystique to it. I was quite surprised by some information though, especially point 11.
herniated disc operation, french foreign legion

I got rejected in the belgian army because i have a herniated disc, after a operation i cant join the belgian army so i wanne join the french foreign legion but i know i will be rejected to for my herniated disc. my question is when i do an operation for my herniated disc and i will fully recover, are they going to reject me?
I was lucky not to have gone to Vietnam, I actually put in for it in basic (reverse psycology). Years later I went to the wall and found 4 guys names engraved, that I went thru basic training with. Every one gave me the vibe that they would be cannon fodder when we trained. I would not have wanted any of those guys near me in combat.

Are you saying the guys who were killed were guys you didn't want near you in combat? Yeah, because it's only the fvck ups who get killed in combat right? And you would have just been a real hero I'm sure.

They gave their lives, the most they could give, more than any of us have given. You didn't go, therefore you don't get to comment on how they died or the nature of their combat service.
I realize this thread is quite old but I found it incredibly helpful. I need some help and I hope that you guys can give me some advice or some links for my questions:

1) I am very phsyically fit. I have trained martial arts since I was four years old having obtained a 5th degree black belt in a Korean hybrid martial art, a 1st degree black belt in Krav Maga, a blue belt in BJJ and I have studied Jeet Kune Do, Kyoksuhin Karate and Judo. I am a work out nut doing P90X on a daily basis and adding on other various workouts as well. So fitness is not an issue. I do have a lower back injury but it rarely acts up. Will they do x-rays or will the lower back issue be a problem?

2) Hitting on the fitness part, what all is expected from you on the day of? I know it's a minimum of four pull ups, a mile under 12 minutes and some kind of "beep test" but I also heard that you have to climb up a rope without using your feet and you have to fight the first day. Could someone help distinguish fact from fiction?

3) I graduated high school but I am a martial arts coach and haven't really needed anything outside of "this is how you throw a kick and a punch" since I have a manager to run my business. I am petrified of the psychometric technique tests and other tests. Are there any links you guys could provide to help study and prepare?

4) I know nothing about the French language. I know they'll teach me but I like to be prepared. Will Rosetta Stone or some other language soft ware help?

Yes, I know the Legion isn't a cake walk. Yes, I know what I'm getting into (at least a general idea, of course). I leave in June or July of this year and I am ready for the next five years to be hell. I want and need this to happen and I'm scared I'll be sent home. There is nothing left for me here and I HAVE to get away (not trouble with the law, just personel). Please, help me with any links of tests to help get me "smarter" (LOL) and help me with fact vs fiction.

Legio Patra Nostra
You can forget all that Beau G'este BS Le Legion Estrange is a highly trained Unit and you will be selected at what you would be good at just like any other Army , rank comes very hard because of lack of turn over if you make Cpt. in your first five you've done well .
Its not so much being tuned away but do you fit in do you have the right personality that meshes with your Comrades , in the U.S. it is the same in Rangers , SF and Special Ops .
It's taking severely hard repetitive hits to the back that cause me problems, nothing else. I run every day, I train long hours every day, not a problem.

So the Legion has become more special ops then average military then?
The physical challenges you face in the military has nothing in common with what you have tried before. The vast majority of soldiers who have to leave the service do so because of attrition of especially knees and back.

No, FFL is quite similar to the other French army units.
Have you served or is this coming from a friend or the things you have read? I really appreciate your help, of course, but I just want to make sure I'm not expecting A) a cake walk as some would have me believe B) that I'm am or not joining something a Ranger couldn't even survive (i.e. harder then the special forces) and of course C) that I'm as psychologically prepared as possible. So I want to make sure that I'm getting info as up to date and direct as possible short of flying over to France and asking at the Fort myself.
Why don't you just Google it the Legion is not permitted to serve in metropolitan France because they mutinied some years ago in Algeria , I think they are based in Corsica .