Th French Legion is a military service branch of the French Army established in 1831. Persons who are enlisted in this army branch called Legionnaires are highly trained infantry soldiers and the Legion is unique in that it was, and continues to be, open to foreign recruits willing to serve in the French Armed Forces. When it was founded, the French Foreign Legion was not unique; other foreign formations existed at the time in France.
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The French Legion army is Commanded by French officers, it is open to French citizens, who amounted to 24% of the recruits in 2007. Any soldier who becomes injured during a battle for France can immediately apply to be a French citizen under a provision known as “Français par le sang versé” (“French by spilled blood”). As of 2008, enlisted members come from 140 countries. French citizenship may be applied for after three years’ service
Since 1831, the Legion has suffered the loss of nearly 40,000 men on active service in France, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Madagascar, West Africa, Mexico, Italy, the Crimea, Spain, Indo-China, Norway, Loyada, Syria, Chad, Zaïre, Lebanon, Central Africa, Gabon, Kuwait, Rwanda, Djibouti, former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan, Mali, Sahel and others.
An enlisted member enters the Army as a Private. After completing basic training, the enlisted recuits advances to Private First Class. The next notable advancement is to a Noncommissioned Officer.
How to Apply the French Army Jobs:
Follow the link as details of the Army recruitment and selection process can be found on how people from other countries can apply for the Army. visit here.
To join as a soldier you must:
The Foreign legion only recruits applicants actually reporting at an information desk (PILE) or at a preselection center (CP) located in Metropolitan France.
Accommodation and food are free during the whole selection process.
The Foreign legion does not facilitate any administrative steps taken by applicants to obtain a visa or a residence permit in France
Learn About the French Military
So, how to join the French Foreign Legion? The ONLY solution to join the French Foreign Legion is to go to mainland France (in EUROPE) and knock on the door of one of the Foreign Legion recruiting centers (once you are in, free accommodation, food and clothing are immediately provided by the Legion).
You will be enlisted as a single man, even if you are married. The first contract you sign up is for 5 years.
The entire recruiting & selection process takes 2 – 5 weeks (in most cases, the exact period depends on every candidate individually). The process starts when you pass your passport to a serving legionnaire in a recruiting center (either an information office or a preselection center – you will see the list below).
The process ends when you are officially accepted or rejected. During the whole period (from passing the passport to a legionnaire until your acceptance or rejection), free accommodation, food and clothing are provided by the Legion.
The candidates having passed all the tests are officially accepted or rejected every working Thursday afternoon. As a volunteer, you are allowed to ask to go home every morning during the entire selection process.
CAREERS AVAILABLE IN FRENCH ARMY
Any legionnaire can build a career not on school diplomas or professional or civilian qualifications, but by taking military or technical examinations throughout his service. If you have good potential, if you are motivated, hard working and serious, the following careers are possible.
- tank driver
- machine gunner
- anti-tank rocket launcher
- armoured vehicle driver
- and other…
- data-processing support
- computer support
- and other…
- radio operator
- radio mechanic
- telephone exchange operator
- and other…
- light vehicle driver
- truck driver
- articulated truck driver
- bus driver
- dredge driver
- and other…
- small arms expert
- and other…
- data processing specialist
- physical education instructor
- graphic designer
- and other…
25% of legionnaires will become the non-commissioned officers (N.C.O.). All NCOs in the Legion started as simple legionnaires (except for a few NCOs from the French Army, assigned to some regiments as well-trained specialists).
10% of Legion officers started their career as simple legionnaires and worked up through the ranks.
SEE ALSO>>> US Army Recruitment for Non-Citizens (Africans)
French Army Ranks
All volunteers in the French Foreign Legion begin their careers as basic legionnaires with one in four eventually becoming a sous-officier (non-commissioned officer). On joining, a new recruit receives a monthly salary of €1,200 in addition to food and lodgings. He is also given his own new rifle, which according to the lore of the Legion must never be left on a battlefield. Promotion is concurrent with the ranks in the French Army.
|Foreign Legion rank||Equivalent rank||NATO Code||Period of service||Insignia|
|Engagé Volontaire||Recruit||–||15 weeks basic training.||None|
|Legionnaire 2e Classe||Private / 2nd Class Legionnaire||OR-1||On completion of training and Marche képi blanc (March of the White Kepi).||None|
|Legionnaire 1e Classe||Private / 1st Class Legionnaire||OR-2||After 10 months of service.|
|Caporal||Corporal||OR-3||Possible after 1-year of service, known as the Fonctionnaire Caporal (or Caporal “Fut Fut”) course. Recruits selected for this course need to show good leadership skills during basic training.|
|Caporal Chef||Senior Corporal||OR-4||After 6 years of service.|
FRENCH ARMY SALARIES:
A legionnaire is clothed, fed, accomodated, and medically cared for. Your salary also depends upon your rank, qualifications and time of service.
Foreign Legion pay examples (most basic monthly earnings; various tax deductions already included):
|RANK||SERVICE||1°RE||2°REP *||3°REI **||Foreign theater ***|
|Legionnaire||10 months||1205 €||1460 €||1433 €||3567 €|
|Caporal||03 years||1226 €||1480 €||1452 €||3626 €|
|Caporal-chef||10 years||1303 €||1607 €||1600 €||3939 €|
|Sergent||07 years||1351 €||1648 €||1650 €||3929 €|
|Sergent-chef||10 years||1779 €||2095 €||1945 €||4186 €|
|Adjudant||17 years||2007 €||2140 €||2180 €||4748 €|
|Adjudant-chef||21 years||2078 €||2427 €||2477 €||4818 €|
- * Parachute bonus
- ** Overseas allowance (French territories)
- *** Foreign theater operations – Overseas allowance (abroad)
The Pay examples (the most basic salary), dating back to 2010, are increased by 1-2 % now
According to 2018, you could start collecting a regular retirement pension after 17 years and 6 months of honorable service.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q: Do I need to speak French before joining the French Foreign Legion?
A: No. The vast majority of candidates do not speak French.
2. Q: How about my chances to be selected?
A: You will be selected only if you are good enough for the Legion. And it is the Legion itself to decide who is good enough to be selected. From around 100 candidates asking to serve in the Legion, only 10-15 are accepted. So, you have to be better than the rest of candidates in all aspects to get a chance (NOT the right) to be selected… There are no “bring this or that, pass this or that, make this or that” tricks to be accepted. The candidates are selected by the commission consisting of around 15 members of the Legion’s HQ, who verifies individually all aspects and results of every single candidate. Than, the majority of them have to find consensus and vote for the candidate to be accepted in.
3. Q: How about tricks to pass the tests and get into the Legion?
A: You have to be good enough for the Legion to be selected. As stated above, it’s not only about the tests. The recruiting process is far more complex. It is focused on your entire personality. Your real behavior, your real attitude, your real motivation. The Legion must want you. Then you will be selected. There are no tricks to get in.
4. Q: How about contacting my family?
A: You are allowed to contact your family once you have started your basic training in Castelnaudary, by mail or payphone. Once you are serving as an ordinary legionnaire in a regiment, you can contact your family by mail, phone or internet during your free time. Nevertheless, there are specific rules for contacting your family during overseas deployments and operations.
5. Q: How about evenings, weekends, holidays in the Foreign Legion?
A: After finishing your four-month basic training, you are allowed to leave your military base during your free time.
6. Q: How about using mobile phones, laptop or notebook computers?
A: After finishing your four-month basic training, you are allowed to buy them and use them during your free time.
7. Q: How about annual leave (vacation/holiday)?
A: The Legion offers you 20 working days during your first year of service, 25 working days during your second year of service, and, since your third year of service, you will be provided with 45 working days of annual leave (vacation/holiday) per year.
8. Q: How about visiting/seeing my family?
A: You have to be a “recognized person” (called RSM) to be allowed to visit your family officially in your home country during your annual leave. You can get that status within 1-3 years. If you are a “bad guy” with some a little bit complicated justice problems at home, just ask your family to arrive in France to meet together during your free time. They can also meet you at your regiment directly, during holidays like Camerone Day (April 30).
9. Q: How about the visa and flight tickets for joining the Legion?
A: The shortest French visa (for turism) is for 90 days… It is your responsibility solely to find, pay and obtain all required travel documents and visas (tourist or short stay visa) to go to France. The Legion offers you no refunds, no money, no scholarships, no online applications, no letters of invitation, no French embassy’s documents to get to France.
10. Q: How about the Second (or Third) chance for re-entering the Selection process?
A: In some cases, the Foreign Legion offers you a chance to return back, if you failed entry tests during the selection process in Aubagne. If the Legion gives you the second (or third) chance, you receive a paper document with the title “INAPTE TEMPORAIRE” stating that you can return back after 3, 6, 12 or 18 months. Who is able to return back and after how many months, that is up to the Legion solely. If the Legion do not give you another chance, you receive a paper document with the title “INAPTE DEFINITIF”. That means the Legion is closed to you forever.
11. Q: How about the naturalization/getting a French citizenship?
A: After 3 years of service, you are allowed to ask for the naturalization. You have to serve honorably and you have to be “rectified” (to serve under your real identity recognized by the French government) to be qualified to get the French citizenship. Be sure, that you have to pass more than 5 years of service to be naturalized. The second eventuality of being naturalized/getting the French citizenship is to be seriously wounded during a military operation.
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