If you have been interested in joining the French Army as a Non-Citizen, African, or Foreigner, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to apply and get recruited into the French Foreign Legion.
The French Army, one of the most powerful in the world, has been accepting soldiers from other countries for many years. The French Foreign Legion, established in 1831, is a military service branch of the French Army that comprises highly trained infantry soldiers.
How to Join the French Foreign Legion
The ONLY way to join the French Foreign Legion is to travel to mainland France (in EUROPE) and visit one of the Foreign Legion recruiting centers. Once you are in, free accommodation, food, and clothing will be immediately provided by the Legion. Whether you are a citizen or not, married or single, you will be enlisted as a single man, and the first contract you sign up for is usually for 5 years.
The entire recruiting and selection process takes approximately 2 – 5 weeks, depending on individual cases. During this period, you will be provided with free accommodation, food, and clothing. The process starts when you pass your passport to a serving legionnaire in a recruiting center (either an information office or a preselection center). The process ends when you are officially accepted or rejected.
The French Foreign Legion is unique as it continues to be open to foreign recruits who are willing to serve in the French Armed Forces. You will have to undergo various tests and evaluations to determine your eligibility for the Legion.
Careers Available in the French Army
Any legionnaire can build a career based on military or technical examinations throughout their service, rather than relying on school diplomas or civilian qualifications. Depending on your potential, motivation, hard work, and dedication, various careers are possible in the French Foreign Legion, including combat specialties, administration, signals, control, maintenance, miscellaneous roles, and more.
Approximately 25% of legionnaires have the opportunity to become non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and 10% of Legion officers started their careers as simple legionnaires and worked their way up through the ranks.
French Army Ranks and Salaries
When you join the French Foreign Legion, you start your career as a basic legionnaire, and one in four eventually becomes a non-commissioned officer. Your monthly salary will depend on your rank, qualifications, and time of service. The foreign theater and overseas allowances may also apply to certain positions.
For example, as of 2018, a legionnaire with 10 months of service could earn around €1,205 per month, while an adjudant-chef with 21 years of service could earn around €4,818 per month.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Do I need to speak French before joining the French Foreign Legion?A: No, you do not need to speak French. The majority of candidates do not speak French when they join.
- Q: What are my chances of being selected?A: The selection process is rigorous, and only a small percentage of candidates are accepted. The commission of the Legion’s HQ carefully evaluates and votes on each candidate’s eligibility for acceptance.
Please note that all candidates must report to an information desk (PILE) or a preselection center (CP) located in Metropolitan France. The Foreign Legion does not facilitate any administrative steps for obtaining a visa or residence permit in France. Additionally, the Legion has a rich history of service, with legionnaires having served in various regions and conflicts around the world.
If you are interested in joining the French Foreign Legion, the recruitment centers in mainland France will provide you with all the necessary information and guidance. Good luck on your journey!