Learn from me

Good evening ladies and gents,

I used to visit this site religiously last year during my preparations to join the FFL and I want to give my story and some tips that will help learn from my mistakes. Here we go about a year a go I was finishing school and starting to run bars/restaurants around this time had been keeping my eye on new of the middle east and the shit show that was ensuring, started to miss things so started looking into ways to get back into the "shit" per say, almost book a flight to middle east to train with "The Lions of Rojava" but upon further researching there were more politics and lack of sufficient training/equipment at the time and in my opinion (I'm all for dying for something then live for nothing but not to be killed in the sandbox by green on green) helped me change my mind weeks prior to purchasing my ticket and flying out. So I started to look at other options contracting was one but being separated for 3+ years put me too far out to be considered to most PMC's. Then I stumbled upon the FFL and everything from the ethos to how it became called to me. I stumbled upon this forum and would read the most recent threads for hours to soak up all the knowledge that was on display (I thank you all who provided their insight) and I would train. Being in moderate shape still run 3+ miles with decent time, pull-ups were always second nature as by my name I was former USMC, the beep test did kick my ass the first time I tried it but I keep with it to get better. Even after working 10+ hour days I found time to run or go to the gym for weight training (If your already a big guy like me 6'1' 220, it been said multiple times on here but cardio/body weight workout are your friend) I wanted to be part of the FFL. I always been a the bigger guy, from being a sports to even my time in service I was chosen to hump/hike with the heaviest pack and carry the largest equipment I was known as the heavies guy 240's, .50 Cal barrels, tripods, etc. So if your big in any military service your better be strong or tough I was both. *This will come in to play later*

I trained for around 2.5 months I felt confident, mistake #1 if you have more time to train... THEN TRAIN if your not damn near perfect on pull-ups, beep test, and your cardio endurance train until you are. So I booked my flight out of CDG one way, mistake #2 I knew better I even read on here to make sure to have a return flight just in case I did not head those warnings. Flew out landed in France and I spend 1.5 day in Paris I flew in at night, the next train down to Aubagne was in the morning so I decided to do some sight seeing. I stuck out like a sore thumb in Paris mistake #3 pack accordingly/ down't bring unwanted attention to yourself I brought 2 jeans and one pair of shorts, with three t-shirts and a hoodie. When you stick out at night in Paris you bring unwanted attention to yourself from young men asking for cigarettes or just looking for a fight, twice I had to stand up and say one of the few french phrases I knew "I speak English" they looked at my size and went off to harass other people (In Paris most people speak English southern France not so much). So I took train down to Aubagne coupe hour trip made only longer by the fact that I got off on a wrong stop, but eventually made it to my destination. I found out my French needed more practice so there was an Air B&B right outside town in a place called Roquevaire. Which was a small blessing I got to brush up on my French with some locals, got to see some places (Marseille, Calanques National Park Etc) also gave me more time to train I stayed right at the base of the Garlaban. I hike it almost everyday (8-9 times) to reach la croix du garlaban.

Finally after all that, I reassured myself i had no doubt about joining I went into town and walked up towards the gate. Saw two people walking out in civilian attire being turned away, then a bench of 5-6 smaller males sitting on a bench waiting. I waited by the door until I was told to present my passport, I did he said "American?" I nodded he motion to the pull-up bar, did 5-6, was told to come down, he told me to come inside and take off my shirt, he started to examine my tattoos chest/sleeves, he went to a clipboard which was already almost full of names tapped his pen on it to get my attention. I looked down it seem to be names, heights, weights, nationality, etc. Looked at me and motion at my size and I laughed he did not he weighed me, he closed the door so no one outside could here. He asked if I understood French I told him a little, but I spoke English so in 1/2 French 1/2 English, he told me my best bet was to come back after the new year (was around Nov.) he could tell I was prior some military training. I nodded and left devastated now trying to find a way home, mistake #4 have an exit strategy. It took me about a 1 and 1/2 week to get back home, piss poor planning gets piss poor results!

So to wrap it all up mistakes to learn from:
#1 if you have more time to train... THEN TRAIN
#2 Don't book one way
#3 Pack accordingly/ down't bring unwanted attention to yourself
#4 Have an exit strategy

With that said gentleman that are trying to find whatever it is your looking for in the FFL I hope you find it! To the past legionnaires I salute you for doing what I could not, and to the prior service looking into FFL you will not succeed on your past merits and experiences you are giving up your old life to start a new one so train as such. I was planning on going back down to join but with the recent build up of US forces again, prior service entry has become easier which is the route I am following.

"If today is to be THE DAY, so be it.
If you seek to do battle with me this day you will receive the best that I am capable of giving.
It may not be enough, but it will be everything that I have to give and it will be impressive for I have constantly prepared myself for this day.
I have trained, drilled and rehearsed my actions so that I might have the best chance of defeating you.
I have kept myself in peak physical condition, schooled myself in the martial skills and have become proficient in the application of combat tactics.
You may defeat me, but you will pay a severe price and will be lucky to escape with your life.
You may kill me, but I am willing to die if necessary.
I do not fear Death, for I have been close enough to it on enough occasions that it no longer concerns me.
But I do fear the loss of my Honor and would rather die fighting than to have it said that I was without Courage.
So I WILL FIGHT YOU, no matter how insurmountable it may seem, and to the death if need be, in order that it may never be said of me that I was not a Warrior."
What can i say. . their loss
Have said many times before. ..travel light
7 at least or more pull ups
Tatoos will only give you a label
Return ticket. ..if travelling from Europe is not needed (in case of refusal...hike your way back
Crossing the pond, ok, i see the need for a return ticket
Thanks for posting

Joseph Cosgrove

Sorry it didn't work out for you. If I've got it right, you were turned away because of the pull-ups? I hope that others reading this will take note. Are you going to try again?
No pull ups were fine, I was able to do around 15 when I left I was stop after my 5th or 6th one as they are second nature, from what I gathered it was either my size as I was around 220lbs standing 6’1 which puts me on the edge of the BMI charts but I carry it well. Or due it being the end of the year not needing many recruits. Looking back probably a little of both so if your a bigger guy lean out. I thought about going back from time to time, but I went there and I found out so I don’t have to ask what if it just wasn’t the right time for me. At the moment I am in the process of rejoining the US forces they are doing a service build up ( due to the conflicts in Middle East and Africa) taking on more prior service members so I have went that route. A few of my Marines have went through some enjoy some hate it, it’s all what you make it. But I thank you all for all the insight and knowledge that is shared here it was greatly appreciated and helpful. You won’t know until you take the trip, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors whatever they may be. If you are looking into military service or contractoring work, training and preparation like there is no tomorrow there are people out there to take your life. If you need any reminder of this fact just hop on the internet and see a new propaganda video there is a new one loaded every week I’ll leave this for your motivation:


Well good luck Gents Cheers and stay sharp out there until Valhalla!
If you don't mind me asking, I'm still not entirely clear why you were rejected. What was the reason he told you to come back after the new year?


Hyper Active Member
First, USMC-29 thank you for respond. Not many guys doing that.

Whats your age (29 maybe)? Your weight was definitely number one reason for rejection. FFL love lean guys! That's a fact everyone joining have to know that. Yes, they say BMI could be up to 30, but I would say that if you are not at least around neighborhood of 25 don't go until do some diet and cut your weight.

USMC-29 If you came after 3 months with 10 lbs less you would have chance for getting in. On your second and especially third try chances getting bigger.

Anyway, I wish you best luck with your rejoining to corps.
I respect the USMC but they put far too much emphasis on upper body strength. We were known as the lean, green, killing machine. The advantage of size is excellent for long yomps carrying heavy equipment. Our mortar and heavy weapon Marines were of larger build. However the downsize was in speed marching for them and on assault courses and obstacles that they might encounter in the field. My first comment comes direct from our Corps magazine, this month and relates to joint exercises. Our guys were also exercising with Force Recon.

USMC-29 I respectfully suggest that you attempt to slim down

Chas. RMV202910-Mne-20/06/1956. !!!!!!! Subsequent Capt. Mainwaring.


Hyper Active Member
Agree with Chas and I would add something. What is problem with "pumped-up" guys is that they usually achieving that shape with a lot of weight lifting, a lot of special diet food ,supplements and often with illegal steroids. All of that wouldn't be available when one is on mission.

Also big muscle burn a lot of energy and oxygen. That's why isn't good to wear all that for the most time useless mass on long matches which are common in FFL.
When come to hand to hand combat muscular guy have big advantage, but let's face it how many time on the modern battlefield will you have need for hand-to-hand combat? (except when fighting against your drunk comrades:))

And I'm not one of those small, slim guys who always talks how that's is why to go because big guys are slow and they not really strong etc etc. (I think anyone know someone like ). I'm muscular naturally and I spend some time in a gym, but truth is truth. For FFL is much better to be lean. That's why I have to go vegan for some period of time and give up beer. (Ohh man,I'm talking this for how long, and my time is ticking :()
. (Ohh man,I'm talking this for how long, and my time is ticking :()
I might be the 10000th person to ask this question, and my guess is you’re tired of it. But since I joined the forum I have seen dozens give you a hard time for not leaving. Is there a real reason for the hesitation?
This may be of interest for those interested in physical aspects of training

RM boarding teams from HMS. S********X, recently completed cross training with USMC Force Recon. Prior to doing so they had to complete the USMC feared R-PAT. (Reconnaissance Platoon Assessment Test.) All our General Duty Marines completed this even beating some of Recon. Not bad for lads straight off a ship.

Tests : 500 yard swim, as many press-ups , sit ups and pull ups in 2 minutes. Minimum requirements: 42-50-8. A mile and one half run in 11.30. A 12 mile load carry with 50lbs in 3 hours and two times through their assault course the first being completed in under 4 minutes.

As for the exercise I shall not disclose the content. However both units learnt from each other various skills and it was enjoyed by all participants.

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