3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment

3e REI insignia3e Régiment Étranger d’Infanterie, 3e REI. The most decorated regiment of the French Foreign Legion and the second most decorated regiment of the French Army. Since September 1973, the 3e REI has been stationed at Quartier Commandant Forget in Kourou, French Guiana (South America). It moved there from Diego-Suarez, Madagascar.

In 1948, the first airborne unit of the French Foreign Legion was created within the 3e REI: Parachute Company of 3e REI.

The 3e REI is the heir of the Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team (Régiment de Marche de la Légion Étrangère, RMLE) created in November 1915 for fighting on the Western Front during World War I. In 1919, RMLE moved to Morocco and a year later, it was redesignated as the 3rd Foreign Regiment (3e régiment étranger, 3e RE). In June 1922, the regiment received its current title: 3e REI.

The 3e REI served in Morocco, Tunisia, Indochina, Algeria and Madagascar. The regiment also participated in both World Wars. In 2004, its legionnaires deployed to Haiti.


History of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment

See the history of 3e REI during the 1915-2015 period. Well-ordered data, including dozens of pictures from all decades. From World War I until its missions in French Guiana: History of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment

3e Régiment Etranger d’Infanterie - 3 REI - 3REI - 3eme REI - History


Current structure of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment

The regiment is devided (in 2018) into 4 companies. It comprises around 485 officers and legionnaires (assigned to the regiment for two years usually), including a small number of non-Legion military personnel. Some 160 soldiers form rotational units (these soldiers are provided by the Legion or French regular forces), usually rotating every 4 months. A reserve company consisting of non-Legion reservists is also attached to the 3e REI.

The 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment is a military reserve unit. It is tasked with several missions. First, the regiment is protecting the Guiana Space Center of Kourou, a French and European spaceport (this mission has been called as Operation Titan since 2008). Second, it ensures the territorial integrity of French Guiana and its security – that means patrolling the Guiana forest and taking action against foreign illegal gold diggers (Operation Harpie since 2008).

Finally, the 3e REI is operating the Jungle Training Center (Centre d’Entraînement en Forêt Equatoriale, CEFE) of Regina (since 1986), conducting a hard military jungle training course for French troops and an international jungle training course called JAGUAR for groups of foreigners. The unit is attached to the Overseas & Foreign Countries Specialized HQ (EMSOME), together with DLEM.

The regiment is also providing combat service support to the French forces operating in the region and can be deployed as an emergency force to French teritorries in the Caribbean (Operation Carbet in Haiti in 2004 or Operation Irma in Saint Martin in 2017).

As a curiosity, the regiment doesn’t have 1st Company. It was disbanded in 1967 and hasn’t been re-created since then.


In 2018, the 3e REI is composed of:

  • HQ & Logistics Company (Compagnie de Commandement et de Soutien, CCS)
    • Jungle Training Center (CEFE)
    • Specific Water Mission Support Platoon (Section d’Appui Nautique Spécifique, SANS)
    • Landing Support Platoon (Section Aide à l’Engagement Débarqué, SAED)
  • 2nd Infantry Company (2e Compagnie de d’Infanterie, 2e CIE)
  • 3rd Infantry Company (3e Compagnie de d’Infanterie, 3e CIE)
  • Combat Support Company (Compagnie d’Appui, CA) – formed with rotational platoons, including artillery elements
  • 4th Infantry Reserve Company (4e Compagnie d’Infanterie de Réserve, 4e CIE)


3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment promotion


3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment’s official website: 3e Régiment Étranger d’Infanterie


3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment’s current news

See the news and updates from 3e REI posted on our website:
3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment’s latest news


3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment’s regimental song

The regimental song of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment (3e REI):
Anne-Marie du 3e REI


Location of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment


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