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Hello everyone, I am a 21 year old American. I grew up in a military family traveling from base to base. Unfortunately do to a charge I got when I was 15 years old I am barred from all branches of the US military. I tried for 4 years after I got off probation to try and get a waiver to get in but ultimately was not given one. I then became a paramedic to try another path in life but I am still not fulfilled. The French Foreign Legion seems to be my only option to be a soldier. So therefore I am currently saving up money for a ticket to Marseille and for eye correction surgery before I go(I am nearsighted. Not bad but enough for me to have to wear contact lenses). I decided to make an account on this forum to meet and talk to legionaries and others trying to join.
 
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Best of luck man. Stay positive.

When are you heading over?
 
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As soon as I get Lasik(or prk), recover from the procedure, and get enough money for a flight over there and some extra money in case anything goes wrong. So hopefully sometime this year.
 
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Cool, talk to the legionnaires on here about the eye exam (I'm US Army, not a Legionnaire) in case there are any specific documents or anything you might need to produce at the gates concerning the procedure. Also, it seems like getting getting some french fluency goes a long way towards helping your chances.
 
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I will. And yeah I've started learning. It seems like there is nothing like being immersed and speaking the language with someone. But I'll learn as much french as I can. Are you planning on joining at some point or do you just have an interest in the legion?
 
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Just an interest. I didn't learn about the Legion until after I joined the Army or else I would have knocked on the Legion's doors at 18.

If you're looking for some books on the FFL one of the best books I've read about the legion is "Life in the French Foreign Legion" by Evan McGorman. I like it cause it seems like its an honest depiction of daily life in the Legion. Another one I liked was "Dairy of a Legionnaire" by Gareth Carins. This one was a little more entertaining since he had been deployed to Africa. The most entertaining one I've read though was "Fighting for the French Foreign Legion" by Alex Lochrie. This one was excellent cause of the deployment to Kosovo and all the great training he did with some of the best units in the FFL. The only word of caution I'll offer on this one is that I think Mr. Lochrie's experience differs wildly from the average Legionnaires.
French seems hard for Americans so I'd buy all 5 levels of Rosetta Stone and start knocking them out now. You definitely don't want to be struggling to understand something when a pissed off NCO is screaming in your face, haha.
 
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I've read "Fighting for the French Foreign Legion" and I'm working on "Hidden Soldier" by Padraig O'Keeffe about his time in the Legion. Haven't read the others you mentioned though I'll pick those up. So far I got a French class I'm taking(useful for having other people to talk to in French) and the Duolingo app on my phone, I'll pick up Rosetta Stone to, why not right? Are you planning on continuing in the Army or going to the Legion after your enlistment is up?
 
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I'd get Babbel instead of Duolingo. I did Duolingo for a while and it seemed like it never progressed beyond how to say "the red apples" and stuff like that.

I've actually already done 5 years on Active Duty with the Army and I'm now an Officer in the reserves. I'm also trying to become a Federal Law Enforcement Officer. The main reason I'm not heading over is that I'm married with a kid now.
 
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Hey good on you. Raising a kid is important. And noted I'll check out Babbel. Thank you for all the advice. And I'll just keep yelling, "les pommes rouges" while I'm getting smoked šŸ˜‚
 

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Hi FlamingAlpaca85 and welcome to the forum. You've already got a few few good cards in your pack, coming from a military family, living on different bases, para medic etc.
I think that you will have no choice but to tell them why you couldn't join the US military. Whatever you decide don't change your story, there is no 'coming clean' during the second interview.
Don't spend too much money on duo this or Babbel that. try this one for Free
LearnWithOliver.com
They will send you a different sentence each day broken down with explanations. There's also word games and vocabulary by categories. There is a paying option, but don't bother with that.
Learn the numbers until they become second nature. When practicing pull ups count in French starting with 11 = 1. Because if you can't count to ten yet, then you are way behind. If you think that you've master it to twenty (=ten pull ups) then do the same with 70 to 80.
Learn the various ways of telling the time -par coeur every time you look at your watch try and say it in French. You must learn each word as le or la. example La montre Le couteau, if it comes before a vowel l' you must learn if it is un or une example l'oeuf = un oeuf,
 
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I'll look into that. I will be honest with my intentions and past. Thank you for you're reply Mr. Cosgrove. Worst they can say is no. And I've been through that before. It will be alright.
 

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Worst they can say is no. And I've been through that before. It will be alright.
Wise up mate, you're not going all that way, spending all that money with that attitude. You've got to make them want you. When they ask for volunteers, be the second guy (no point in going overboard) to put his hand up. Don't just hang around with the Brit Mafia, see to it that you mix, practice your French with the froggies.
It seems that the US candidates are in high esteem at the moment, which wasn't always the case. There is another build up of recruits this year which will be in your favor.
 

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I've read "Fighting for the French Foreign Legion" and I'm working on "Hidden Soldier" by Padraig O'Keeffe about his time in the Legion. Haven't read the others you mentioned though I'll pick those up. So far I got a French class I'm taking(useful for having other people to talk to in French) and the Duolingo app on my phone, I'll pick up Rosetta Stone to, why not right? Are you planning on continuing in the Army or going to the Legion after your enlistment is up?
Let me start by saying that I'm not a legionnaire, but am an interested "bystander" who is studying French. So, let me say DO NOT BUT ROSETTA STONE. It is way overpriced for what it teaches you. You will be better off going to your public library and checking out Pimsleur French. If they don't have it see if they can order it through inter-library loan. On the web check out Learn French With Vincent. For a book, I'd buy French Demystified. Get the second edition, not the third edition. The second comes with a cd, while the third requires you to listen to the audio on line.

Bon courage mon ami,
Tom
 
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Wise up mate, you're not going all that way, spending all that money with that attitude. You've got to make them want you. When they ask for volunteers, be the second guy (no point in going overboard) to put his hand up. Don't just hang around with the Brit Mafia, see to it that you mix, practice your French with the froggies.
It seems that the US candidates are in high esteem at the moment, which wasn't always the case. There is another build up of recruits this year which will be in your favor.
Roger that. I will remember all of that. Thank you for the advice. I'll try and save up quicker in order to capitalize on the build up as much as possible.
 
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Let me start by saying that I'm not a legionnaire, but am an interested "bystander" who is studying French. So, let me say DO NOT BUT ROSETTA STONE. It is way overpriced for what it teaches you. You will be better off going to your public library and checking out Pimsleur French. If they don't have it see if they can order it through inter-library loan. On the web check out Learn French With Vincent. For a book, I'd buy French Demystified. Get the second edition, not the third edition. The second comes with a cd, while the third requires you to listen to the audio on line.

Bon courage mon ami,
Tom
I'll look into the book. Learn French with Vincent seems like it'll go well with what Cosgrove has said with the "learnwitholiver.net". Thank you for the links.
 

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Hi Tom, how are you? Glad you brought up the point on the book. I usually recommend that the candidate turns up with a French exercise book and a well thumbed pocket dictionary, even if it's just to high light how keen you really are. We have feed back that while you are in 'paradise', the place where all the fresh recruits are kept, you can keep your books.
Whether they allow you to keep them afterwards isn't too clear. but it shows that you are keen.
You may want to try and find a way of putting the CD - if you do buy the book Tom recommended- onto your phone. You won't be able to keep your phone in Paradise but again in shows keeness.
Talking about phones, make sure that you have nothing damaging on your phone when joining.
 
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Hi Tom, how are you? Glad you brought up the point on the book. I usually recommend that the candidate turns up with a French exercise book and a well thumbed pocket dictionary, even if it's just to high light how keen you really are. We have feed back that while you are in 'paradise', the place where all the fresh recruits are kept, you can keep your books.
Whether they allow you to keep them afterwards isn't too clear. but it shows that you are keen.
You may want to try and find a way of putting the CD - if you do buy the book Tom recommended- onto your phone. You won't be able to keep your phone in Paradise but again in shows keeness.
Talking about phones, make sure that you have nothing damaging on your phone when joining.
Will do. I don't have any social media. And I'll keep things clean on anything I bring. I'll keep the link to this thread saved for all the advice on here. Thank you all again. I appreciate it.
 

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As soon as I get Lasik(or prk), recover from the procedure, and get enough money for a flight over there and some extra money in case anything goes wrong. So hopefully sometime this year.
If your eyes are only near sighted and not bad, your refraction is not excessive, I would not get the Lasik. It is a medical procedure that will eventually be found out upon a close eye exam. It is one more thing to add to the trouble you got into as a kid.

The beauty of the Legion is that someone like you is afforded a second chance in life. Unfortunately, you have learned the hard way, the US Military and especially the Marine Corps is not forgiving. I have no doubt we lose kids that would have made damned fine Marines; however, the statistics prove that many of the ones whom do not graduate and have had a criminal past often are discharged because of trouble.
 

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I'll look into that. I will be honest with my intentions and past. Thank you for you're reply Mr. Cosgrove. Worst they can say is no. And I've been through that before. It will be alright.

Pay attention to people like Joe and other Legionnaires, get your pull-ups locked on, you won't make it past the Foyer if you cannot give a good 10+ legitimate DEAD HANG PULL-UPS, Dead Hangs.
 

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Hello FlamingAlpaca95,
This might be useful:
"Eye surgery. If you had a laser vision-correction surgery (or another eye surgery), you have to wait at least 12 months before you can try to enlist you in the Legion. "
The link: http://foreignlegion.info/french-foreign-legion-eyesight-vision-requirements/
Hope I didn't discourage you, wish you all the best with your preparations.

On one side, you can use one year to prep yourself. On other, there is plenty of legionnaires with eyeglasses.
 

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