4th Foreign Regiment

4e RE insignia4e Régiment Étranger, 4e RE. The 4th Foreign Regiment is a training unit of the French Foreign Legion. It provides a four-month-long basic training for enlisted volunteers. The 4e RE also provides military occupational speciality instructions for currently serving legionnaires, and courses and instructions for future corporals and NCOs of the Legion.

A training unit of the Legion has been based at Castelnaudary, southern France since it moved from Corsica in 1976. In 1980, it was designated as the 4th Foreign Regiment and has been stationed at Quartier Capitaine Danjou (in the outskirts of Castelnaudary) since 1986.

The current 4th Foreign Regiment draws its lineage, attributes and traditions from a notable unit, the 4th Foreign Infantry Regiment (4e Régiment étranger d’infanterie, 4e REI), created in Morocco in 1920 and disbanded in Algeria in 1964.

4th Foreign Regiment promotion


History of the 4th Foreign Regiment

In June 1962, the Foreign Legion Training Group (Groupement d’Instruction de la Légion Étrangère, GILE) left Algeria, a country of North Africa administered 1848-1962 as an integral part of France, to be based at Bonifacio and Corte on the island of Corsica. In 1976, GILE left Corsica and moved to continental France, to be stationed at Castelnaudary, a town located in southern France. In late November 1976, GILE was based at Quartier Lapasset (also Caserne Lapasset), an old barracks in the center of Castelnaudary.

Nine months later, on September 1, 1977, GILE became the Foreign Legion Training Regiment (RILE). Three years later, on June 1, 1980, RILE was retitled and became the 4th Foreign Regiment (4e RE). From April 1984 to May 1986, a new modern headquarters of 4e RE, Quartier Capitaine Danjou, were being built in the outskirts of Castelnaudary. In July 1986, the new barracks received its first enlisted volunteers to pass their basic instruction there.

See images and more information:
Foreign Legion’s training units: From Corsica to Castelnaudary.


Current structure of the 4th Foreign Regiment

The regiment is devided (in 2021) into 6 companies, consisting of approximately 1,200 men. It includes about 520 permanent personnel, and nearly 700 enlisted volunteers, military occupational specialists and future cadres. A reserve company being composed of non-Legion reservists is also assigned to the 4e RE.

The 4th Foreign Regiment serves as a training unit of the French Foreign Legion. It is tasked with three main missions. First, the initial training for new recruits. Within the regiment, enlisted volunteers pass the intense training program of physical and mental preparation for service in the Legion. This program lasts 16 weeks. Second, the regiment provide a number of advanced courses for already serving legionnaires (truck driver course, signal course, combat medic course, cooking course etc.), lasting from two weeks to four months. Third, the 4e RE trains the future corporals of the Legion during a two-month corporal course, and also trains the future sergeants of the Legion during a four-month sergeant course.

Each Enlisted Volunteer Company (CEV) operates one Ferme, a former farm to house a platoon of enlisted volunteers to pass first four weeks of their basic training there. The 4e RE also manages a mountain outpost based at Formiguères in the Pyrenees. During their basic training, enlisted volunteers spend a week of mountain instruction there.

The 4th Foreign Regiment is directly subordinated to the Foreign Legion Command (COMLE). In the time of war, the regiment would be redesignated as the 4e REI (Infantry) and would serve as an infantry unit.

In 2021, the 4e RE is composed of:

  • HQ & Service Company (Compagnie de Commandement et des Services, CCS)
  • 1st Enlisted Volunteer Company (1re Compagnie d’Engagés Volontaires, 1re CEV)
  • 2nd Enlisted Volunteer Company (2e Compagnie d’Engagés Volontaires, 2e CEV)
  • 3rd Enlisted Volunteer Company (3e Compagnie d’Engagés Volontaires, 3e CEV)
  • Team Leader Training Company (Compagnie d’Instruction des Cadres, 4e CIC)
  • Specialist Training Company (Compagnie d’Instruction des Spécialistes, 5e CIS)
    • CIS operates, besides other things, Driver Training Center (Centre d’Instruction et
      d’Entraînement à la Conduite
      , CIEC), a driving school for legionnaires
  • 6th Reserve Company (6e Compagnie de Réserve, 6e CIE)


NICKNAME: Fortes têtes (Stubborn, headstrong men)
MOTTO: “Ad Legionem Aedificandam” (To build the Legion)
REGIM. MARCH: C’est le “4”
FFL INFO POSTS: 4e RE’s category


Location of the 4th Foreign Regiment



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