Bastille Day Military Parade 2019

Since 1880, a large military parade occurs in Paris each 14 July, the French national day, called Bastille Day in English-speaking countries. Traditionally, the Bastille Day military parade takes place on the Champs-Elysées, a well-known avenue in the 8th arrondissement. The Foreign Legion participated in the parade for the very first time with their white kepis in 1939. Even last Sunday, the legionnaires showed up in the ceremony.

As usually, the Legion was represented by Foreign Legion Pioneers (39 men this year), a platoon of bearded soldiers marching ahead of the other Legion units and led by an NCO. This is an exception among the rest of the French units taking part in the parade, which are led by officers. Another traditional participant in the ceremony is the Foreign Legion Music Band, consisting of 60 officers, NCOs and musicians this year. The marching detachment of the Foreign Legion was completed by the color guard and a company (113 men together) from the 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE), the HQ of the Legion based in Aubagne.

The 1er RE company was chosen for the 2019 Bastille Day parade because the oldest regiment of the Foreign Legion gained its first collective fourragère 10 weeks ago, in late April 2019. The regiment was recognized by the French Army historians as a successor of the 6th Battalion, 1er REI, a unit having gained this fourragère in northern Morocco (North Africa) in the 1920s, during the Rif War. So, the 1er RE legionnaires (including the Pioneers and Music Band musicians) paraded with the fourragère for the very first time on the Champs-Elysées.

As a matter of interest, this year’s 1er RE color bearer, a position usually assigned to the most senior Lieutenant of the regiment, started his military career as a simple legionnaire in 1987. The company commander (a Captain) leading the 1er RE company behind the color guard and down the famous avenue is also an ancien legionnaire, who joined the Legion in 1992. He himself served as the color bearer of the 1er RE for several years in the 2010s.

During the event, the legionnaires are closing the parade of marching troops, because of the Legion’s much slower marching speed than the rest of the French Army (88 steps/minute vs 116 steps/minute).

This year, any of Foreign Legion regiments wasn’t presented among motorized units, following up the marching troops and the legionnaires in particular, on the Champs-Elysées.

Bastille Day Military Parade 2019 – Training.


Bastille Day Military Parade 2019 – Repetition.


Bastille Day Military Parade 2019 – Preparations.


Bastille Day Military Parade 2019. The Legion between 24:40 – 29:00.


Bastille Day Military Parade 2019 – The Legion


Bastille Day Military Parade 2019 – The Legion. Amateur images.


Related posts:
Bastille Day Military Parade 2018
Bastille Day Military Parade 2017
Foreign Legion: 2016 Bastille Day Military Parade
Foreign Legion: Bastille Day Military Parade 2015