Legion glossary (A-K)

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Oct 17, 2004
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To help understand some posts on this BBS.... and avoid basic spelling mistakes. It will be of course updated regularly. All those wanting to see some words added, please advise one of the moderators. Thanks to all contributors.

AA52 :
Acronym for “Arme Automatique modèle 1952â€￾. Light machine gun in 7.5 mm caliber. The ANF1 is the NATO 7.62mm version of AA52.
Appel :
Aubagne :
Town, 20 km East of Marseille. Home of 1er RE, HQ of the Legion where the selection process is taking place.
Baisse ta tête :
Litterally "Bow". What a caporal will say when you've done something wrong (see banane). A few fractions of seconds later, you'll probably get a slap on the head...
Banane :
Litterally 'banana'. In Legion slang, a blunder (made on purpose or not).
Acronym for Bordel Militaire de Campagne. In the ‘old’ times, a brothel held by the Legion to ‘relieve’ the guys standing for months in the middle of nowhere.
Stands for “Bureau Opérations-Instructionâ€￾. There's one in every regiment, generally commanded by a Major or Lt-Col. People in this structure are in charge of planning and organising in details any operation in which the regiment is involved as well as organising and supervising the training of the different companies.
Boule de feu ! :
Litterally “ball of fire !â€￾. Exclamation used to ‘motivate’ the troops (a little bit like the “gung hoâ€￾ of the US Marines).
Calvi :
Town in NW Corsica (island 300 km off continental France). Home of 2e REP.
Carré :
Litterally “squareâ€￾. Means, impeccable, neat and clean. In the Legion, everything is expected to be “carréâ€￾.
Castelnaudary (often referred to as “Castelâ€￾ in the forum) :
A town in SW France (about 80 km from Toulouse). Home of 4e RE, where basic training is taking place for 4 months for new recruits.
Acronym standing for “Centre d'Entraînement Commandoâ€￾ (Commando Training Centre). There are several scattered over the French territory, either in metropolitan France (Givet, Les Rousses, etc.) or overseas (Arta-Plage in Djibouti, French Guiana, etc.). The reference center called CNEC “Centre National d'Entraînement Commandoâ€￾ is located in Montlouis, near Perpignan, in the South-West of France.
Charles-de-Gaulle airport :
French international airport, ~30 km North of Paris.
Cooper test :
Running test taken at Aubagne during selection. Goal is to run as long distance as possible in a fixed 12 mn period of time. Minimum to pass selection is 2800 m, but can vary according law of ‘supply and demand’. A few years ago, it was replaced as a selection test by the Luc-Léger test (aka bleep test). However, Cooper may still be used in the regiments to physical tests.
Corvée :
Chore. There are all sorts of chores in the Legion.
Demi-Brigade de Légion étrangère (Half-Brigade of the Foreign Legion)
Démerde-toi :
Litterally “get yourself out of the shitâ€￾. Means figure it out yourself, without asking dumb questions.
Détachement de la Légion étrangère à Mayotte (Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte). Mayotte is an island of the Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It's a French overseas territory.
EV :
Acronym for “engagé volontaireâ€￾ (volunteer recruits). New recruits are called engagés volontaires, until they've received their képi blanc after about 1 month into basic training.
Acronym for "Fusil d'Assaut de la Manufacture d'Armes de St-Etienne". Standard assault rifle in the French army in 5.56 mm caliber.
La Ferme :
The Farm. A place, around the town of Castelnaudary where part of the 4 months basic training is taking place. Each EV Coy in 4 RE has one (eg ferme du cuin, ferme du Jasse... ).
(Ferme) ta gueule ! :
Shut-up (not a regulatory command !)
Fort de Nogent :
A former fort built in XIXth century, now serving as a Legion recruiting post. Fort de Nogent is actually located in the city of Fontenay-sous-Bois (not Nogent-sur-Marne, which is not far away), about 5 km East of Paris.
Foyer du légionnaire :
A place in every regiment or Legion base which is some sort of a mix between a bar and a general store where you can buy all sorts of goods (cigarettes, lighters, toilet articles, tee-shirts, etc.).

FRF2 :
Acronym for “Fusil à Répétition modèle F2â€￾. Standard precision rifle for sharpshooters in 7.5 mm caliber.
Fumer un cigare :
Litterally “to smoke a cigarâ€￾. Legion slang meaning to incur punishment. “Tu vas fumer un cigareâ€￾... you're going on platoon CO's /Captain's report and worse if you go on Colonel's report.
Fut-Fut :
A new legionnaire straight from instruction who is kept at 4RE to be an Aide Moniteur (no longer exists).
Garde-à-vous :
Attention !
Gare Saint-Charles :
Marseille railway station. From where most recruits arrive and rejected one leave.
Kronenbourg :
A French beer brand, popular in the Legion.
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