Andrew J. Mitchell: French Foreign Legion Insignia – 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment

In early 2024, a new English-written book dedicated to the French Foreign Legion was released: the long-awaited Collecting French Foreign Legion Insignia, Volume III – Part 2, 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment. The new book is another original work of our friend, Andrew J. Mitchell, an Irish amateur historian and a Foreign Legion insignia collector.

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130 years ago: A forgotten campaign in West Africa ended

In February 1894, the last elements of the French Foreign Legion left the Slave Coast in West Africa where they had successfully participated in two expeditions aimed at a local kingdom’s ruler and his forces. Not only did the legionnaires face heat, disease, and supply problems, but they also had to fight local female warriors, Amazons…

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4e RE: A 2023 short documentary on the Foreign Legion’s method of integration

Watch a short documentary film produced by VA+, the online media branch of the Valeurs Actuelles (“Current Values”), a French conservative weekly magazine. The reporter, Antoine You, visited the 4th Foreign Regiment (4e RE) in Castelnaudary and tried to understand how the Foreign Legion integrates members of dozens of different nationalities coming from all over the world.

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French Foreign Legion in 2024

Created in 1831, the French Foreign Legion is an integral part of the French (Land) Army (Armée de Terre) and thus an element of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces. In 2024, the Foreign Legion is composed of almost 9,500 officers, NCOs, and legionnaires, comprising around 150 nationalities from all over the world. They represent 12% of France’s Land Operational Force (FOT).

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1er REC: A longest-serving active member of the French Armed Forces left the Foreign Legion after 44 years of service

In November 2023, Brigadier-chief Manuel Da Costa left the French Foreign Legion, reaching the age limit of 62 years for an active soldier. With 44 years of service, this senior corporal was the longest-serving active member not only of the Legion, but also of the entire French Armed Forces.

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2023 Legion Christmas nativity scenes

For the French Foreign Legion, seen as a traditional pro-Catholic institution in France (unlike the rest of the French Army), Christmas Eve marks the second most important holiday. To celebrate it, legionnaires in all units of the Foreign Legion – regardless of their origin and religious – create nativity scenes (crèches) every year and compete to see which one is the nicest and most original. The scenes can be small, static ones, or performed live with hand-made scenery. This long-standing Legion tradition is unique within the French Army. If you are interested, see some of the nativity scenes created by legionnaires in December 2023.

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Happy New Year 2024

Another year is coming to a close, having passed by at an unbelievably rapid pace. Another year in a row, the eleventh since 2012, when the FOREIGNLEGION INFO online project was launched. And thus, this is the right time for another annual summary.

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