French Foreign Legion Information Home Page

Joining the French Foreign Legion

This is an information page. I am NOT a recruiting officer of the French Foreign Legion and this is NOT a recruiting website of the Foreign Legion.

So, how to join the French Foreign Legion? The only possibility to join the Foreign Legion is to go to mainland France (in EUROPE) and knock on the door of one of the Foreign Legion recruiting centers (free board, lodging 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.

Entry Requirements to join the French Foreign Legion

What DOES matter:

  • to be a man between 17 and 40 years
    (for more detailed information about the age limit see: What is the age limit for joining the French Foreign Legion exactly?)
  • to have a valid ID – the presentation of any identity cards (on current validity) delivered by the State of membership of the candidate is asked so as to facilitate the process of selection and recruitment (ID card, passport, driving licences, diplomas of state); in every case, an act or a birth certificate with filiation will be required before the end of the first year of contract (so it is better to take it with you)
  • to be NOT wanted by Interpol (NO murders, NO drug trafficking)
  • to be physically fit to serve at all times and in all places for minimum 5 years

What does NOT matter:

  • your knowledge of the French language doesn’t matter
  • your origins doesn’t matter
  • your nationality doesn’t matter
  • your religion doesn’t matter
  • your educational background doesn’t matter
  • your qualifications doesn’t matter
  • your social status doesn’t matter
  • your professional status doesn’t matter
  • your marital or family status doesn’t matter
  • your non-military background doesn’t matter

 

Career in the French Foreign Legion

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.

Combat specialities:

  • sniper
  • tank driver
  • paratrooper
  • sapper
  • machine gunner
  • anti-tank rocket launcher
  • armoured vehicle driver
  • and other…

Administration:

  • secretary
  • accountant
  • data-processing support
  • computer support
  • and other…

Signals:

  • radio operator
  • radio mechanic
  • telephone exchange operator
  • and other…

Control:

  • light vehicle driver
  • truck driver
  • articulated truck driver
  • bus driver
  • dredge driver
  • and other…

Maintenance:

  • mechanic
  • electrician
  • welder
  • painter
  • small arms expert
  • and other…

Miscellaneous:

  • paramedic
  • data processing specialist
  • physical education instructor
  • graphic designer
  • musician
  • photographer
  • cook
  • and other…

25% of legionnaires will became the non-commissioned officers (N.C.O.). All NCOs in the Legion started as simple legionnaires.

10% of Legion officers started their career as simple legionnaires and worked up through the ranks.

 

Pay in the French Foreign Legion

A legionnaire is clothed, fed, accomodated, and medically cared for. Your salary also depends upon your rank, qualifications and time of service.

Pay examples (after various deductions, excluding social security deduction):

RANK SERVICE 1°RE 2°REP * 3°REI ** 13°DBLE ***
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)
  • *** Overseas allowance (abroad)

 

Entry Tests of the French Foreign Legion

  1. Psycho-technical tests
  2. Sports tests
    • Luc leger (a rhythmic race, alternating 20 meters distance; running speed is determined by beeps at set intervals with increasing frequency – make at least 7 landings)
    • Pullups (make at least 4 pullups)
    • Cooper test (2800 meters in 12 minutes)
  3. Medical tests
    • you will pass a medical visit
    • be sure you have healthy teeth (or treated)
      • maximum number of missing teeth between 4 and 6, depending on the value of the teeth
      • masticatory coefficient (to have quite healthy teeth) greater than or equal to 40%
    • if you have vision problems, please read Eyesight: French Foreign Legion vision requirements
    • provide all documents concerning medical surgery or a recent document describing that there is currently no sequelae
    • provide medical documentation regarding previous serious illness and now healed (certificate healing / treatment)
    • provide your health record if the existence of these
    • Examples of causes of incapacity:
      • tuberculosis
      • hepatitis
      • cancer
      • HIV
      • diabetes
      • overload weight
      • a psychiatric disorder during treatment
      • a view too low
      • bad hearing (you pass a sound hearing test – it tests your ears at different frequencies)
      • total loss of a finger
      • laxity of the knee
      • recurrent dislocation of the patella
      • hernia recovery with after-effects (recurrent hernia problems)

 

Tattoo and the French Foreign Legion

For more detailed information about the tattoo policy in the Foreign Legion see:
French Foreign Legion Tattoo and Tattoo Policy

 

What to take with you to the French Foreign Legion

The number-one rule in packing for an enlistement to the Legion is to pack lightly.

You HAVE TO take with you:

  • all documents already stated above (ID card, …)
  • briefs and socks for 3 days
  • a pair of trainer/sneaker
  • vanity case/toiletries:
    • soap/shower gel
    • razor + lather
    • toothbrush
    • toothpaste
    • bath towel
    • bath shoes/slippers

Do NOT take with you:

  • computer/laptop/tablet
  • camera
  • big amount of money (+300 euros/+400 USD)
  • gun, knife…

 

Where to enlist in the French Foreign Legion: Recruiting centers

You can be enlisted in mainland France only. So, you have to travel to mainland France (in Europe) to join the Foreign Legion. You can be enlisted in one of the 11 Foreign Legion recruiting centers, which are composed of 2 preselection centers and 9 information offices. Once you are enlisted, free board, lodging and clothing are immediately provided by the Legion.

Travelling and visa expenses (if needed) are YOUR responsibility.

Whatever is stated on the Legion official website, enlisting in the Foreign Legion recruiting centers or preselection centers in Paris and Aubagne during Monday-to-Friday days between 8h-17h will be a good option for you.

Addresses and map location of the French Foreign Legion Recruiting centers

See addresses, contacts and map location of each of the 11 Foreign Legion recruiting centers, the only places, where you can be enlisted in the French Foreign Legion:

Foreign Legion preselection centres:

Foreign Legion information offices belonged to Paris (recruits are sent for free to Paris in 1-7 days):

Information offices belonged to Aubagne (recruits are sent for free to Aubagne in 1-7 days):

You may stay 3-14 days in preselection centre before starting a selection in Aubagne (yes, there are both, preselection and selection centers in Aubagne).

Information source:
Légion étrangère, the official website

The French Foreign Legion offers you a chance to start a new life… Good luck!

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