Life after the Legion

notatexan

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#21
Yeah. Thing is, even after you realize the military aspect of it is a joke, you still got all the other things that make up for it. Hanging out with great friends everyday. Weekend debauchery. Really almost no responsibility (assuming single, no kids, live on post), and fu**ing 45 days of PTO. 45 days is unheard of in the US. Train discounts that allow you to see the country for cheap. Living in a absolutely beautiful country. I love France and French culture.
The Legion was great to me. I only think it's worth mentioning to the people wanting to be top soldiers that they will be disappointed. Whoever said you get back what you put in... that doesn't really apply, sorry. I've met brilliant guys (tough Belorussians) that tried to make it better. They just got burnt out by the impossibility of it. But again, I have no regrets. Great thing to do while you're still young and dumb.

Hi, and thanks for sharing your experience. When you say it's not hard to get in you mean you found the physical tests easy? And why did you guys train so little (in your opinion)?
Can't answer to why we trained so little. Maybe the budget? Allah knows we had plenty of free time. As far as getting in, physical tests are pretty easy. I remember new guys coming in that had me questioning the entire integrity of the institution. I also was a training cpl at 4RE, so I can also attest first hand as to the sad nature of basic training these days. By that I mean the over abundance of fut fut Cpl and the restraints placed on punishing an unruly recruit.
 
#22
Can't answer to why we trained so little. Maybe the budget? Allah knows we had plenty of free time. As far as getting in, physical tests are pretty easy. I remember new guys coming in that had me questioning the entire integrity of the institution. I also was a training cpl at 4RE, so I can also attest first hand as to the sad nature of basic training these days. By that I mean the over abundance of fut fut Cpl and the restraints placed on punishing an unruly recruit.
Damn. Did you consider changing regiment, to seek a bigger challenge (3REI for example)?
 
#26
Fair enough guys, I was never Legion but the crap you speak about is prevalent in the Scots infantry. Spent so much more time behind a mop than a rifle. Never mind though, least we did it.
Also here in the Irish Defence Forces. I know a couple of guys both here and the British Army, most of which say the same.

I think every army or military organisation has Sh*t C*nts who make it through and more so in the Legion as is the nature of how they recruit but I do think it is what you make of it.

If you're in a section that has these guys in it it's up to you to either sort them out and raise the standard, in your section at least, or get yourself to another section or on courses that will give you the training and skills that will allow you to serve with other guys that are professional and do the job the right way.
 
#27
Thank God I served, when I served. We were highly regarded. Training facilities albeit primitive were excellent for that time in our Nation's history.

Currently in the UK the training restrictions, mainly for fiscal reasons are really disturbing. The superb Paras are one of the most hit units. Retention of manpower in my old unit is a major problem. When I served the world was our oyster even with the End of Empire. Currently it really is a depressing. scenario.

Finally my son works at Pirbright ATR. He has been there a long time and has noted many adverse changes. In my opinion the MoD is totally incompetent.
 

sexpert

Top Poster Of Month
#28
Thank God I served, when I served. We were highly regarded. Training facilities albeit primitive were excellent for that time in our Nation's history.

Currently in the UK the training restrictions, mainly for fiscal reasons are really disturbing. The superb Paras are one of the most hit units. Retention of manpower in my old unit is a major problem. When I served the world was our oyster even with the End of Empire. Currently it really is a depressing. scenario.

Finally my son works at Pirbright ATR. He has been there a long time and has noted many adverse changes. In my opinion the MoD is totally incompetent.
I was lucky in a way because, when I was in, Thatcher was in power and did spend a lot of money on the Armed Forces When i was getting out they threw my paper work twice in the bin, got offered promotion posting, etc. Not that I was any super guy or anything but they did want to keep guys in. Now I don't know what they do. All changed.
 
#29
Modern day armies do not like long time serving soldiers or just a few, to remind the new how things should be done. Economical reasons, no doubt (pensions etc.). And let's face it... The Army, after the first months is ever “so routine” !
 

sexpert

Top Poster Of Month
#31
Anyone here (legionnaire or not) have any guesses as to why the PT entry standards of the Legion seem to be not particularly harsh?
Well... Let's not forget that the tests are the bare minimum and the real "beastings" happen in training. Maybe they have to keep it at a level to give as many a chance as possible (they will look at other reasons to pass a candidate not just fitness). we have a computer games youth now.
I remember when I was joining one of the guys failed the BFT run but they let him in because they said he was very young & can get him fit. He was joining the Junior Scottish infantry, Royal Highland Fusiliers i think. Was a good guy but slightly underweight, some guys then never saw a real meal at home. They have their reasons in the Army so I suppose the Legion is the same. With some candidates they will look at the big picture... ahead.
 

voltigeur

Legionnaire
Former Moderator
#35
can you tell us about your time in the Cavalry? I looked at your web site, pictures. very nice.
It would be a long story to go in detail, basically, I was the equivalent of a tank infanterist and did a hell of a lot of marching like the regular Infantry regiments. All units went on regular operations for days or weeks and upon return to base we were given time to clean our gear. After that we still had to some training on the rifle/shooting range, obstacle course, corvee, parades in the middle of nowhere, hunting wild boars for food, etc.. Overall, I had it easier than a lot of the older Legionnaires because I had no strong family attachments. Guys who had a wife and kids had often a really rough time particularly around Christmas and New years. We were mostly based in God forsaken areas or near tiny villages so there was not much to do for entertainment except the bar and bordello. The funny part about the opening hours of the “pouf” was for legionnaires from 6 to 10 PM, NCO's from 10 to 12 PM and from then on for officers. However, you could book for four hours or the night. Not many did take that opportunity. :D
 
#37
Anyone here (legionnaire or not) have any guesses as to why the PT entry standards of the Legion seem to be not particularly harsh?
Because they don't need to be. It's just the minimums to keep out those who don't have the physical capabilities to pass the training. It really should be in basic training where they develop your physical state from whatever it is when you join to "good". Sadly that is not the fact anymore, Castel is so soft and easy nowadays.
But the fact remains that once you are in and finished with your basic training, you will have all the time in the world to work on your fitness and get it to a good level. And in many regiments/units it's very much expected to be way above the entry requirements.
 

sexpert

Top Poster Of Month
#38
It would be a long story to go in detail, basically, I was the equivalent of a tank infanterist and did a hell of a lot of marching like the regular Infantry regiments. All units went on regular operations for days or weeks and upon return to base we were given time to clean our gear. After that we still had to some training on the rifle/shooting range, obstacle course, corvee, parades in the middle of nowhere, hunting wild boars for food, etc.. Overall, I had it easier than a lot of the older Legionnaires because I had no strong family attachments. Guys who had a wife and kids had often a really rough time particularly around Christmas and New years. We were mostly based in god forsaken areas or near tiny villages so there was not much to do for entertainment except the bar and bordello. the funny part about the opening hours of the pouf was for Legionnaires from 6 to 10 PM, NCO's from 10 to 12 PM and from then on for officers. However, you could book for four hours or the night. Not many did take that opportunity.:D
at least the junior ranks got in there first....hahahaha
 
#40
You know, even my beloved Corps most certainly had its ups and downs. Every formation is not a parade and every meal is not a banquet. There were certainly very boring days spent conducting mundane maintenance on rifles, equipment, uniforms, and many of the daily tasks that have to be done and are of the utmost importance. Certainly in the monthly training plan there were days blocked for training of some sort, not always live fire exercises or field operations. Unless you were a grunt you were lucky to fire your weapon, in my case the M-16 and 9mm service pistol, more than a couple of times per year. One was required to requalify with their T/O weapon once a year. Interspersed in the year there were field firing opportunities on the assigned weapons and additional crew served weapons like the m60 Echo 3s, 240s, Mark 19s, or the M2 .50 Cal.

Life in the military is a day to day challenge, it is not the romantic dream most on this forum, (NOT THE VETERANS WHOM KNOW BETTER) someone has to stand guard, the Battalion and Barracks have to be cleaned daily, and there is weapons and equipment maintenance, e.g. cleaning your weapon until it was more clean than an operating room.

The romantics will soon become very disillusioned with this life; however, the pragmatic and career force know it is during this time the attention to detail, the what you thought were bullshit games being played, was actually instilling discipline. It separated the serious from the latter. When you are thrown into Iraq it becomes clear.

Day in and day out is not jumping out of a plane in the rep, fast roping from a helicopter, a day at the demo range, and what ever the hell else one thinks....

The budget would be so busted, there are only so many training dollars and bullets. I mean think of it, 180,000 Marines, 500,000Soldiers, or 8,000 Legionnaires all firing their weapon several times a month, going to the field where you have to spend more on fuel, ammo, transportation, and you name the logistic item. It would bankrupt any country.

So, here's is what you take away. Like Not a Texan stated, you build life long friendships, you handle the drudgery of military life during the week, you deploy to war and you really know what it is like and you really understand what it is to be a Veteran, and you get to see beautiful place you never would have had the opportunity. You hold the friends you made more dear than the friends you grew up with, they did not share your misery, pain, joy, sorrow at the loss of comrade, and lastly, they cannot look back when you're as old as some of and say, I served, I spent 20-years and 22-days as a United States Marine! A Legionnaire! A Royal Marine! A Soldier.

As Chas said in this thread to Not a Texan, as the years pass you miss the life more and more, you long for it more and more, but alas, you had your day in the sun and you can say I BASKED IN IT AND HONORED MY COMMITTMENT, I SERVED.
 

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