What is the French Foreign Legion?

The French foreign legion is a foreign military outfit in France. Comprised of both Frenchmen and a vast amount of ex-patriots, this is one of the toughest outfits in the world. It has the most kinship with the Spanish foreign outfits or possibly the Armada. Founded in 1831 by the King of France, it was intended mostly to help with the campaign in Algeria. The legion was opened to ex-cons and those in mild trouble with the law alike and used as a way to unite the foreigners wandering around the country. Consequently, the idea took off in France, ultimately becoming one of the most elite units in the world. The French Foreign Legion was successful in its attempts to pacify Algeria and has been deployed on one of the longest conflict lists in the world since then.


Today, this heritage continues in the eclectic nature of the soldiers. The unit is technically part of the French military. But the soldiers serve in some of the most battle-torn campaigns that it could almost be considered paramilitary. They have been on the ground the whole time in Afghanistan and were also in Iraq and Kosovo. These are just a few of the myriad campaigns, but even more international than the campaign list is the nationalities of the soldiers. Their situations previous to coming to the Foreign Legion make the exhausting boot camp and difficult language gaps seem like a good option when they sign up. Nationalities range globally from Ecuador to Estonia. Their training is 100 times more compared to even the best workout for flabby arms.


They sometimes come from such a difficult background that they are fugitives from the law even as they are enlisted in the French Foreign Legion. Many have secret identities, their real names known only to the Legion. The work is so difficult that even though they are fugitives, the Legion protects them and their identity. Not very many people can do the soldiering in the French Foreign Legion, and they are deployed under conditions so brutal that even the best desert sometimes.


The French Foreign Legion goes to the most horrific campaigns. This hearkens to the origination of the outfit, as Algeria and the campaigns following it are noted for their brutality. Even commanders have deserted in the French Foreign Legion on occasion. Not only do they engage in the most difficult terrains, they go from campaign to campaign. It is truly one of the most battle-scarred outfits in the world with some of the strictest training.


There are no women in the French Foreign Legion. Open to French citizens and citizens of countries around the world, this unit teaches French to some who did not necessarily do well in school. Learning simple words like in, on, over and under is difficult in a classroom where the teacher is more like a drill sergeant and there is exhausting physical training to deal with on top of lessons. But the legion teaches everyone French nonetheless. At the end of basic, they swear to serve with loyalty and honor in French.