One of my readers asked me about the French Foreign Legion.
I mentioned them in one of my book lists.
Yes, the French Foreign Legion still exists. They are not a myth.
They are very real and every year thousands of young men from around the world go to France to enlist and disappear into the brotherhood of the Legion.
French Foreign Legion was a creation of Louis Philippe the King of France in 1831.
The idea of the unit was to form an army of foreigners to fight wars outside France to help expand the French Empire.
The establishment of the new regiment specified that the foreigners recruited could only serve outside France.
This meant the Regiment was stationed outside France. Later the Legion became too powerful as an Independent Army of foreigners outside the French borders that was only answering to the President of France.
So they decided to bring back the Legion to mainland France to have more control over them.
France created a pit-bull that almost got out of control so they put a leash on it.
If you walk around Paris you might see some “French” Soldiers walking around Paris with white hats on.
These hats are called the Kepi Blanc (white hat) which is the legendary symbol of the French foreign legion.
Only the Legion wears the Kepi Blanc.
The Regiment is only open to foreigners.
You can sign a contract for 5 years and then get a French Passport. If you choose to disappear you can take on a new French name and let go of who you used to be.
Then your old life is something of the past and you get reborn as a legionnaire with a new French Identity.
If you don't want to be found then this the place to go.
But make no mistake the legion is no joke.
They are an elite fighting force with a code of secrecy and Loyalty.
The legion is legendary in France and is respected as true warriors.
There is a respect for men who are willing to fight for another country and maybe sacrifice their lives in service of that country.
But first you need to pass their selection and so be physically fit.
In the old days, people with criminal records were allowed but those days are over.
If you have a criminal record then you can't join.
If you make it through selection then you will be asked to choose your preference of units.
You can become an Infantryman, Armored Soldier or join the Elite Paratroopers of the 2nd Rep in Corsica.
The island of Corsica is just off the coast of France.
Also, you will get French classes for a few months because you have to learn French.
Most Legion Troops are on the mainland but the legion has bases in Africa and South America where they conduct brutal commando courses.
The legion has recently served in hot spots around the world like Afghanistan and Iraq.
They are never far from the action.
The legion is scene as more expendable compared to normal French soldiers because if foreigners die it's not as bad as French boys losing their lives.
But the upside is you get to see the world, experience things that nobody else will and get a French passport at the end of it.
If you do decide to join remember that its a Regiment with very high levels of discipline.
So you will have a monk-like existence for the first few years.
If you sign on that paper your ass belongs to the legion for 5 years.
So if you want to test yourself and do something extreme then maybe the legion is for you.
But if you want to have a bit more balance in life then join your local military in your country.
If you do decide to go then you can either go to Marseille or Paris to enlist.
One thing is for certain if you do join your life will never be the same. You will be a legionnaire for life.