a French Foreign Legion Forum

Welcome! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Maximum age for joining FFL

AFOldGuy

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston
Best answers
0
Home Country
United States
Hi everyone, I am new here and this is my first post. I have read through many of the threads and I appreciate the time and effort that folks have given to this forum. I have a specific question that maybe someone can answer definitively. If so, you would help me out so much, and make my life better.
I am did 20 years in the U.S. military (enlisted), I did 5 combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and I retired in 2014. After 2 years, I hate civilian life and I have spent a ton of time trying to get back in to the military (no luck).
I am going to be 41 in February, which I know puts me over the age limit for the FFL. But still I would really like to try to get in. I wish I had done it as soon as I got out of the U.S. military. Or even better, I wish I had done it when I was 18. But whatever.
Does anyone know if the age maximum - 39.6 years old - is hard and fast, or are there waivers available? Have you ever heard of someone going in over age 40?
I have the money, I'm ready to go to France - but I won't go if I know for certain it is not going to work.
Thanks to all...
 

maim

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
285
Reaction score
64
Location
Back in Africa
Best answers
0
Home Country
New Zealand
I did Castel with an Italian who was 45, that was in '82. He did 5 yrs in the '60's and had been a baker in Italy until his marriage failed and he lost his business. If they want you, they take you.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
3,850
Reaction score
1,768
Location
U.K.
Best answers
0
Home Country
United Kingdom
AFOldGuy,

You would be over the official age limit. Hence the result is very doubtful. However prior service might be recognised. If you wish to take a stab at it, take a chance, but also regard it as a holiday. By that I mean take enough money to see the wonderful sights of France. In case you are unsuccessful make sure to buy a return ticket.

My personal opinion is that you will not be selected. Think positive but recognize that your age may make it impossible. You need to move very rapidly indeed. So Good Luck and a Happy and prosperous New Year.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
6,701
Reaction score
5,083
Location
Hua Hin Thailand
Best answers
3
Home Country
New Zealand
I don't want to get into an argument here with Maim but things were different then back in the early 80's. Yes they may have needed a guy of 45 but in 89 the wall was opened. It was like a chink in a huge dam at first. Then the message got out, come to the Legion, do 5 years and get French nationality. The pay is 10, 20 times more and the food is plenty. That is when the dam burst and the Legion was spoilt for choice.AFOldGuy you may go and try but unfortunately it is too late. But it is your call.
 

AFOldGuy

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston
Best answers
0
Home Country
United States
I don't want to get into an argument here with Maim but things were different then back in the early 80's. Yes they may have needed a guy of 45 but in 89 the wall was opened. It was like a chink in a huge dam at first. Then the message got out, come to the legion do 5 years and get French nationality. The pay is 10, 20 times more and the food is plenty. That is when the dam burst and the legion was spoilt for choice.
AFOldGuy you may go and try but unfortunetly it is too late. But it is your call.

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I know it is very unlikely that I would get in. Joseph Cosgrove, that is a good point about Eastern Europeans. When I was in Afghanistan one time we had FFL at our FOB and it seemed like they were almost all Eastern European. Once we got to know them - at first no one even knew they were FFL rather than regular French Army.

To everyone who is thinking about trying to join: Do it. Now. If you don't make it, you don't make it. If you hate it, you suffer and get out. 5 years is nothing - my 20 went by in a heartbeat.

If you decide not to do it, you will wonder and regret for the rest of your life.
 

Rapace

Moderator
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
5,931
Reaction score
1,314
Location
France
Best answers
0
Home Country
France
Well... As you know, the official age limit to join the Legion is 40. If you're only slightly older they may take you if you bring some valuable "assets", but don't count on that. Your chance or being accepted is 0.01%.
You'll face two very basic issues:
1/ When you show up at the gate, the caporal-chef in charge will ask for a Id document (passport, etc.). If you show one with an age over 40, your career in the Legion will most probably end even before having started.
2/ If, by an extra-ordinary coincidence, you're accepted, you need to understand that nobody will give a sh*t about your past service in the US Army and your 5 tours. You'll have to start over from zero. I guess you must have done between 15 and 20 years in the US Army. What will happen if/when a 20 year-old caporal d'encadrement at Castelnaudary starts shouting at you because he considers the toilets you had to clean are not up to his standards? Will you be able to take it?

Having said all that, if money and time are not a problem for you, buy a plane ticket to France and see by yourself. In the worst (and most probable) case scenario, you'll have time to visit a bit the country.
 

maim

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
285
Reaction score
64
Location
Back in Africa
Best answers
0
Home Country
New Zealand
Talking to a few recently departed anciens, there is a certain dislike for people who take steroids, pose and want to work in the kitchens and a fondness for those who want to get into the teeth arms. All I can say is good luck and may God go with you. If you don't try you'll never know. The devil in me says get a passport with a different DOB. Don't ask don't tell. Safe, M.
 

Surfguy

Super Active Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
486
Location
Wales Mostly
Best answers
0
Home Country
United Kingdom
Stranger things have happened , 666 got in after 3 attempts so give it a go ,I guess you are in excellent health with good teeth and vision? the worse they can say is no , if things dont work out you can have a vacation in Europe and plan your future , I guess that would mean going into the private security sector or maybe the Police ?
 

Most viewed threads of the week

Top