American Discusses What Life Is Like in the French Foreign Legion

Here is an interesting read about Americans joining the French Foreign Legion that was in the Stars & Stripes:

Edward, an American member of the French Foreign Legion, takes a break during a weapons drill in September at Camp de Carpiagne, home base of the Legion’s First Cavalry Regiment. The 24-year-old former U.S. Marine was given a new identity upon joining the Legion. He now operates a Milan anti-tank missile. Slobodan Leckic/Stars and Stripes

For almost 200 years, the French Foreign Legion has prided itself on offering a haven for men yearning for adventure and a new start in life.

It was just what “Edward,” a 24-year-old Californian, was looking for after he was booted out of the U.S. Marine Corps in 2015 for a disciplinary infraction.

“I can’t go into too much detail about what I did, but I was young and very stupid, and that’s why I’m no longer in the Marines,” Edward said.

Edward — who has a new identity given to him by the Legion — is now an anti-tank missile operator in the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment based near Marseille on the Mediterranean coast.

He is one of what he says are “several dozen” Americans in the elite formation that is still the hard core of the French army. Though many Americans have served with distinction in the Legion’s many wars, their numbers have fallen in recent years.

After drifting through several civilian jobs in southern California, Edward decided he missed the comradeship of military life. He traveled to France, where he reported to a Legion recruitment center in Paris.

“Everyone in the U.S. military knows about the Foreign Legion, but in a general, mythical way, without much solid information,” he said in an interview with Stars and Stripes arranged by the Legion. “So I decided to give it a try.”  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but those who are well read about the Korean War may remember that the French Battalion filled with Legionnaires was one of the most colorful and combat hardened units in the war.

Heroes of the Korean War: Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Monclar