Introduction - 18 Year Old American

#1
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum so I apologize if I am posting this in the wrong place. It seems to be the only way to post anything, but I very well may be wrong. I am an 18 year old American and my trip to Aubagne is booked for June. I am aware that some of these things have been addressed, but I just want to include a thorough background for my first post. My family/deceased relatives have been involved in every major conflict that the US has been a part of, so I knew from an early age that it was for me. When I was about 14, I stumbled across the FFL and have not doubted my decision to go since. I have no contact with my mother, and my father left me to live on my own since I was 16, and I have no real opportunities here or anything to anchor me here. I am expecting to be told to join a US branch, but I am sure that you all are familiar with the stubbornness of us wannabe's. I am not seeking adventure and I know to expect neither an easy or always-enjoyable experience. This is something that has determined me for years and I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. My fitness is where it needs to be, I'm confident in my mental ability, and I have nothing back home to give the Legion a reason to beleive I will desert (apart from being an American). Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and any feedback and advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
#3
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum so I apologize if I am posting this in the wrong place. It seems to be the only way to post anything, but I very well may be wrong. I am an 18 year old American and my trip to Aubagne is booked for June. I am aware that some of these things have been addressed, but I just want to include a thorough background for my first post. My family/deceased relatives have been involved in every major conflict that the US has been a part of, so I knew from an early age that it was for me. When I was about 14, I stumbled across the FFL and have not doubted my decision to go since. I have no contact with my mother, and my father left me to live on my own since I was 16, and I have no real opportunities here or anything to anchor me here. I am expecting to be told to join a US branch, but I am sure that you all are familiar with the stubbornness of us wannabe's. I am not seeking adventure and I know to expect neither an easy or always-enjoyable experience. This is something that has determined me for years and I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. My fitness is where it needs to be, I'm confident in my mental ability, and I have nothing back home to give the Legion a reason to beleive I will desert (apart from being an American). Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and any feedback and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Well you are really young, American and have the 'option' to join the U.S. forces so it might be a hard sell in Aubagne. I hate to be that guy but....you should join the Marines or Army first. :D
 
#4
Hello and welcome!
For all intents and purposes, you seem (to my mind at least) a great candidate.
I would only suggest changing your date. It’s up to you, and you should go when you feel ready. However, it’s known among us wannabes that the best period to present yourself is November-January, as there are fewest candidates then and your chances will be better.

Anyways, good luck!
 
#5
Wadesimmons,

Welcome enjoy the forum. Joining at so young an age with no preconceived ideas can work in your favour. This coupled to your personal history may make you ideal for the FFL indoctrination and service ethos. Good luck.
 
#6
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum so I apologize if I am posting this in the wrong place. It seems to be the only way to post anything, but I very well may be wrong. I am an 18 year old American and my trip to Aubagne is booked for June. I am aware that some of these things have been addressed, but I just want to include a thorough background for my first post. My family/deceased relatives have been involved in every major conflict that the US has been a part of, so I knew from an early age that it was for me. When I was about 14, I stumbled across the FFL and have not doubted my decision to go since. I have no contact with my mother, and my father left me to live on my own since I was 16, and I have no real opportunities here or anything to anchor me here. I am expecting to be told to join a US branch, but I am sure that you all are familiar with the stubbornness of us wannabe's. I am not seeking adventure and I know to expect neither an easy or always-enjoyable experience. This is something that has determined me for years and I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. My fitness is where it needs to be, I'm confident in my mental ability, and I have nothing back home to give the Legion a reason to beleive I will desert (apart from being an American). Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and any feedback and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Ignore the devil's advocate. This guy gets a whiff of an American joining and tells us all it'll be a hard sell. Go for it. I'm on my way to Marseille in six days. If I somehow don't make it, I'll be sure to post my detailed experience and hopefully help you out. If you haven't already, check this out: https://chrishernandezauthor.com/2013/07/09/working-with-the-french-army/

It's a great read and, even mentions the mentality and actions of the Italians there; take everything with a grain of salt because people are shit and most would like to discourage you or even see you fail, especially when they themselves couldn't make the cut. Best of luck dude.
 
#7
I really appreciate that. There will always be an abundance of people that are quick to tell a young American not to waste the plane ticket. I benefit from getting advice, but in the end I know that I'm capable and I firmly believe someone can get in with clear-headed ambition and physical readiness. I'll be waiting to hear about your trip, but for your sake, I would rather hear nothing and know that you made it. No news is good news I suppose, good luck brother.
 
#8
Thank you, and if it was up to me I would already be knocking on the gates. Unfortunately June is the soonest I can leave due to school. I'm sure I'll get some grief about still being in school with dreams of Aubagne, but in the end I'm the only one who knows what I can do. I apprecate the response, have a good day man.
 
#9
It's called being realistic guys. IF you absolutely need the legion you have a good chance. The desertion rate is high in the legion as is the rate from guys who ask to leave at the end of Castel. You have a chance but it is much less than guys that 100% have no other options outside of the legion. Read over the threads of guys who have gone in the past few years. The guys with options either don't stay or don't get selected 95% of the time, and that might be a bit generous. I'm not shitting on your parade or saying I hope you guys fail, I am saying...the odds are low, be realistic and perhaps adjust your story accordingly. :D
Good luck.
 
#10
I have no intention of joining a US branch, but I am aware that the option being there is one of the biggest reasons I could be turned away. I remember reading a thread here about being honest in the interviews vs giving them what they want to hear. I am willing to change a few details about my life to assure that they see me as someone who is coming to them more as a last resort and only option, but what is your advice on doing that?
 
#11
I have no intention of joining a US branch, but I am aware that the option being there is one of the biggest reasons I could be turned away. I remember reading a thread here about being honest in the interviews vs giving them what they want to hear. I am willing to change a few details about my life to assure that they see me as someone who is coming to them more as a last resort and only option, but what is your advice on doing that?
You'd probably have to be a pretty good liar and good at keeping your story consistent during the interviews.
 
#13
I have no intention of joining a US branch, but I am aware that the option being there is one of the biggest reasons I could be turned away. I remember reading a thread here about being honest in the interviews vs giving them what they want to hear. I am willing to change a few details about my life to assure that they see me as someone who is coming to them more as a last resort and only option, but what is your advice on doing that?
You will probably change your tune on joining the US military if you get into the legion, as everyone says, it is for those who don't have options or the option to join their home military. You won't have the options in the legion you could have at home. But I understand that you will need to see for yourself.

During selection EVERYONE will ask you where you are from, then when they find out you are American they will look at you with incredulity and ask if you served in the U.S. military, when you say you chose not to, and that the legion is your first choice they will look at you with disbelief. So will most people who interview you. But no matter, you will have to make your own path and see for yourself.

As for what to say, that is really up to you, you know your own past and your own self the best. You need to weave a narrative that holds up to multiple interviews and 'interrogations' and is 100% consistent. It should ideally explain why you didn't join the US forces and why you need the legion. If you decide to go with the truth and nothing but the truth and say that you decided that the legion was your best option, despite being able to join the US forces, there is little chance that they will want to take a chance on you.

Again read the posts by guys that have gone and come back this year and over the past few years...There are TONS of guys who have come back and told of how they were not selected, left selection, they left after being selected for rouge, how they left after basic or deserted.
There is also a chance they will not reject you outright, but will send you home for 18 months, which they do for those who they think need more maturity or life experience or who score too low on the psychotechnical.

There is also a small chance they will take you, but the very fact that you could have joined the US forces will eat at you everytime you face the hardship and the reality of the legion. I know you and other will think I am just talking out my ass, or am trying to discourage you for the sake of being bitter or negative or whatever, so I suggest that you try talking to some Americans who are serving now to get a better perspective than mine.

Good luck.
 
#14
For arguments sake, let's say I could keep my story brief, consistent, and accurate with the story of not being able to join a US branch. Assuming I keep the truth to myself, don't tell anyone else there, and keep my composure during the interviews, would being so young still be a disadvantage? I have read so many different answers, some saying that being 18 gives you the angle of being young and easily molded to the legion. But some people say that they tend to turn away people that young?
 
#15
wadesimmons,

At interview keep to an honest, clear and concise statement when questioned. Do not dwell on any subject that indicates negativity. Unlike others I believe that your youth can be to your favour. You must express a genuine 'want factor' and indicate maturity. It can be done.

Chas - trained by former WW2 Cdos who joined as a callow youth at 17 + 3 weeks.
 
#16
I undersstand where you're coming from, and contrary to how I presented myself, I am very familiar with the US military. It was not an impulse decision to join the legion based off dreams and ignorance. Not only is my family full of veterans but I have several friends that chose to join the marines, army, and navy. While I don't know this first hand, my opinion is that the US forces have many similar drawbacks as the legion. I know a lot of miserable dudes here at home in the military and in my eyes the legion is worth the lack of benefits and freedom. I see that there are countless more opportunities here at home, but I'm not just another privelidged American who wants 5 years of adventure. I really have nothing here to miss or eat me up about being away from it.
 
#17
There was an altercation I was in that got around to the Marine recruiters that frequently come to my school. While it did not directly prevent me from having the option, it sure did spark some interesting conversation when I was speaking to them. They are rather unprofessional and told me that if I was to join, they would want me to deny it ever happening if it came up. These recruiters tend to look the other way with kids that score high on the ASVAB in regards to drug use, fights, and police interventions. Again, like I said, I'm confident that it would be possible to get past it, but if it would give me the upper hand in the interviews in Aubagne, it would be incredibly simple to exaggerate, while still keeping the rest of my story strictly honest and clear. Again, my first choice would not be to lie about anything to avoid the burden of keeping the story straight. But being a young American I feel as though the difference between having options and being there as a last resort could be the deciding factor of getting in or being turned away.
 
#18
If you tell them you can't join the US military, then remember they will ask why.
Be sure that you know what you're getting in to, when I was 18 I also considered joining the Foreign Legion. In the end I decided not too, I had already volunteered for the draft so joining the Legion would most likely caused some issues, I figured that the Legion isn't going anywhere, I'm still young and it will be years before I'm too old. I would always be able to serve some time in the Danish military and if I still wanted to join the Legion, then I would still be able to go to France and attempt to join the Legion.
I must admit, going to France was pretty tempting during the recruitment surge, but I was just too young and in the end I'm glad I didn't go. I have had some great experiences in the past 2 years that I wouldn't trade for anything and I can still attempt to join the Legion if I wanted too.

Good luck with whatever you decide on :D
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#19
For arguments sake, let's say I could keep my story brief, consistent, and accurate with the story of not being able to join a US branch. Assuming I keep the truth to myself, don't tell anyone else there, and keep my composure during the interviews, would being so young still be a disadvantage? I have read so many different answers, some saying that being 18 gives you the angle of being young and easily molded to the legion. But some people say that they tend to turn away people that young?
wadesimmons, 18 is young in age physically. It is what you are like mentally at 18 that counts. Let's be honest, you get 40 year old's who are giggling at tom and Jerry. Remember, without being paranoid, that you will observed in all that you do. So act like a cool dude at all times and avoid anyone who you would consider immature for his age.
 
#20
I agree, age generally does not dictate someone's level of maturity but I will definitely be scrutinized for my age regardless. To my favor, I essentially raised myself and I really don't think any 18 year olds that want to join the legion for the right reasons have issues with maturity. Do you think it is better to keep more to myself during selection? Obviously I don't want to come off as an introvert, but I feel like the loud, social ones are the ones that are looked at negatively during selection. I may be wrong.
 

Most viewed threads of the week

Top Bottom