1st Foreign Regiment

1er RE insignia1er Régiment Étranger, 1er RE. The oldest regiment and the headquarters of the French Foreign Legion. The 1st Foreign Regiment has been based at Quartier Viénot, Aubagne (southern France, close to Marseille) since it moved from Sidi Bel Abbès, Algeria, in 1962. Since the late 19th century, it has been nicknamed Maison mère de la Légion, Legion’s HQ or Legion’s Motherhouse.

Today, the 1er RE is a non-comabt unit. Its main mission is to provide administrative support for the Foreign Legion Command (COMLE), to which the regiment is subordinated, and for the other units of the Legion. Its personnel also participate as logistical or military support in interior and overseas missions and operations.

Within the regiment, there is a Preselection and Selection center of the Foreign Legion. New candidates arriving from recruiting centers located across France, they pass all crucial tests and interviews (required for becoming a legionnaire) here at Aubagne, within the 1er RE.

The regiment was created in Algeria in April 1841. It served in Algeria (1841-61, 1885-1962), in the Crimean War (1854-55), in the Second Italian War of Independence (1859), in the Sino–French War (1884-85), in Madagascar (1895-1905), Morocco (1907-1934), in the First World War, Second World War, in the First Indochina War (1946-54), Algerian War (1954-62) and in other countries and conflicts.


Current structure of the 1st Foreign Regiment

The regiment is devided (in 2017) into 3 companies and consists of about 520 personnel.

The 1st Foreign Regiment is a non-combat unit managing administration of the Foreign Legion. Also, the initial preselection and crucial selection processes of the Legion are run within the regiment.

  • HQ & Regimental Service Company (Compagnie de Commandement et des Services Régimentaires, CCSR)
  • Foreign Legion Personnel Administrative Company (Compagnie Administrative du Personnel de la Légion Étrangère, CAPLE)
    • CAPLE company manages all recruits arriving in Aubagne
    • the company also manages all legionnaires passing through Aubagne (e.g. hospitalized legionnaires, those who change regiments or legionnaires finishing their contract)
    • it operates Selection & Incorporation Center (Centre de Sélection et d’Incorporation, CSI), the institution responsible for testing and selection of candidates
  • Foreign Legion Services Company (Compagnie des Services de la Légion Étrangère, CSLE)
    • CSLE company conducts administration of the Foreign Legion Command (COMLE)
    • three departments of the COMLE run within the CSLE
    • several significant institutions of the Legion are attached to the company:
      • Foreign Legion Music Band (Musique de la Légion étrangère, MLE)
      • Foreign Legion Convalescent Leave & Recreation Malmousque Center (Centre des Convalescents et des Permissionnaires de la Légion Étrangère de la Malmousque, CCPLEM), based in Marseille
      • Foreign Legion Reception & Accommodation Center (Centre d’Hébergement et d’Accueil de la Légion Étrangère, CHALE), based at La Ciotat
      • Foreign Legion Disabled Veterans Institution (Institution des Invalides de la Légion Étrangère, IILE), based at Puyloubier
      • Foreign Legion Museum (Musée de la Légion Étrangère) + Documents Center (Centre de Documentation) + SAMLE (Foreign Legion Museum Friends Society)
      • Képi Blanc Magazine (Le Magazine Képi blanc)
      • ATHLEG (L’ATHLEG), a squad of long-distance runners (5-6 men) established to publicize the Legion during sports events

    There exists an institution connected with the 1er RE, although administratively independent of the Foreign Legion. The Home of Legionnaire (La Maison du Légionnaire), based at Auriol, close to Aubagne. The institution, a retirement home with some 70 elderly former legionnaires, is supported by a COMLE department, which is run within the CSLE, 1er RE.

    1st Foreign Regiment - 1er Régiment étranger promotion


    1st Foreign Regiment’s official website: 1er Régiment Étranger


    1st Foreign Regiment’s current news

    See the news and updates from the 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE) posted on our website:
    1st Foreign Regiment’s latest news


    1st Foreign Regiment’s regimental song

    The regimental song of the 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE):
    Nous sommes tous des volontaires


    Location of the 1st Foreign Regiment



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