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 in the 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 to the Foreign Legion Operational Regiment (Régiment de Marche de la Légion Étrangère, RMLE) created in November 1915 to fight on the Western Front during World War I. In 1919, the RMLE moved to Morocco; a year later, it was redesignated as the 3rd Foreign Regiment (3e RE). In June 1922, the regiment received its current title, 3e REI.

The 3e REI served in Morocco, Tunisia, French Indochina, Algeria, and Madagascar. It participated in both World Wars, under the title of RMLE. In 2004, its legionnaires maintained order in Haiti.

3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment promotion


History of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment

See the history of the 3e REI during the 1915-2015 period. Well-ordered data, including dozens of pictures from all decades:
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 divided (in 2024) into 4 companies. It comprises nearly 500 officers and legionnaires (usually assigned to the regiment for two years), including a small number of non-Legion military personnel. Some 160 men form rotational units (these men are provided by the Legion or French regular forces) and usually rotate every four 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 tasked with several missions. First, the regiment protects the Guiana Space Center, a French and European spaceport located at Kourou (this mission has been called Operation Titan since 2008). Second, it ensures the territorial integrity of French Guiana and its security, which means patrolling the Guiana forest and taking action against foreign illegal gold diggers (Operation Harpie since 2008).

Finally, the 3e REI operates the famous Jungle Training Center (Centre d’Entraînement en Forêt Equatoriale, CEFE) in Regina (since 1986), where hard military jungle training courses are organized for legionnaires, French troops, and foreign soldiers from allied armies (an international jungle training course called JAGUAR).

The regiment is attached to the Abroad & Overseas Specialized HQ (EMSOME) together with the DLEM.

The 3e REI also provides combat service support to French forces operating in the region and can be deployed as an emergency force to territories in the Caribbean (Operation Carbet in Haiti in 2004 and Operation Irma in Saint Martin in 2017, for example).

As a curiosity, the regiment doesn’t possess 1st Company. Disbanded in 1967, the company hasn’t been re-created since then.

In 2024, the 3e REI is composed of:

  • HQ & Logistics Company (Compagnie de Commandement et de Soutien, CCS)
    • Jungle Training Center (CEFE)
    • Specific Maritime Support Platoon (Section d’Appui Nautique Spécifique, SANS)
    • Dismounted Action 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)


NICKNAME: Régiment de la Selva (Jungle Regiment)
MOTTO: “Legio Patria Nostra” (Legion – Our Homeland)
REGIM. MARCH: Anne-Marie du 3e REI
OFFIC. FB PAGE: 3e Régiment Étranger d’Infanterie
FFL INFO POSTS: 3e REI’s category


Location of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment


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