2023 Bastille Day Military Parade

Annually, a large military parade takes place in Paris to commemorate the 14th of July, the French national day, known in English-speaking countries as Bastille Day. On that most important French holiday, also the French Foreign Legion units participate in the parade in the capital. Learn more and see images.

This year, as mentioned earlier, the Foreign Legion detachment was traditionally headed by Foreign Legion Pioneers (39 NCOs and legionnaires), a platoon of bearded soldiers led by an NCO. This makes an exception among the rest of the French military troops taking part in the parade – the non-Legion units are led by an officer. The pioneers were followed by the Foreign Legion Music Band, another traditional participant in the ceremony. The band consisted of 57 officers, NCOs and musicians who formed two blocs, with chapeau chinois in the middle (Turkish Crescent or Jingling Johnny, it serves as a prominent instrument). The music band itself is led by an NCO, too.

Besides these two traditional Foreign Legion elements participating annually in the parade, the Legion infantry element was represented this year by a combined detachment of the “Legion’s base (plinth)” comprising men of the GRLE, 4e RE, and the 1er RE. The detachment was composed of 126 officers, NCOs and legionnaires. They were headed by their commander-in-chief, General Alain Lardet, and the three regiments’ colonels and their color guards.

During the popular event, the legionnaires are closing the parade of marching troops. This is due to the Legion’s traditional marching speed which is much slower than the one of the rest of the French Army – 88 steps/minute vs 116 steps/minute.

The marching troops were followed by the parade of motorized units. This year, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (1er REC) was honored to take part in the parade, with their new EBRC Jaguar vehicles. The regiment was the first among operational units of the French Army to receive them. The 1er REC detachment consisted of 11 vehicles, including the commander’s one at the lead and the one for the color guard who followed.

Even the 2023 Bastille Day Military Parade took place on the Champs-Elysées, a well-known avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The military parade passed in front of French President Emmanuel Macron who was accompanied by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. An honor detachment of the Indian Army participated in the parade as well.

Prior to the start of the Parade:

The whole 2023 Military Parade. The Foreign Legion infantry detachment is seen from 01:21:00. The 1er REC Jaguars with green-red guidons are seen from 01:34:07.

1er REC in the 2023 Bastille Day Military Parade:

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