Potential wannabe from Canada

Hello everyone,

My names Al, I'm 25, and I'm from the frozen wastelands of Canada. I'm not sure where to start, so bear with me as it may be a long post.

Ever since I was little all I've wanted was the military. I never cared much for what country said military would be in, just as long as it was the military. Although, since I live in the "western civilization", the US military is practically all over in terms of media, so naturally, the Marines was something I absolutely wanted throughout my "younger" years. Unfortunately, after so many years of research, and getting so many different answers, I wasn't sure what was right or wrong but eventually I found the right one. Which was when they say "foreigners can join" they mean "Green Card" which you can't get unless you are sponsored by an employer or marriage to an American Citizen which would still take 2 years after until you receive your "full green card".

I can definitely say I was devastated. There was nothing I wanted more, and obviously none of those options would work in the timeline that I wanted it to, even now. I then turned to the Royal Marines Commando, and since I am a Canadian Citizen and part of the Commonwealth, I would be able to join that easily. Much like the FFL, all I'd have to do is go there, after applying and whatnot, but of course not as fast. It looked incredible, and I couldn't wait. Until April 2013, when they passed a law that you have to LIVE in the UK for 5 years before applying, regardless of commonwealth status. Suffice to say, that was not only incredibly annoying but very upsetting.

Now, at that time, I had three choices. Since I am originally born in Brazil, I could join theirs, but unfortunately after getting information from family members that I asked to call and whatnot, it seems you are not able to join after 18 unless you have a specific trade skill, which I do not. I don't know how this makes sense, but what can you do? So, home country's military is out of the question, which leaves me with the last two options. Canadian Military and French Foreign Legion.

I've avoided the Canadian Military for a few reasons, and even now I am a bit... iffy about it. Many members seem to be leaving it due to government problems, outdated equipment, and whatnot. Current members seem to say the same, and are practically calling it more of a "Political Army" than anything else nowadays. Although, of course, I understand there will always be people out there, no matter what career they're in, that will always find something bad to say, even if there aren't any. If I were to join the Canadian Military, there are many things I'd like to accomplish, and learn, especially with all the courses they have. I do understand that the Canadian Military is well-trained, so regardless of the crap people say, I'd still join it.

Having said that, I have applied and successfully passed all steps. However, I was put on hold due to a few things I have to "hand in" such as medical information (allergies), payment receipt or payment plan of certain debts, etc, but even after I do so... The one who interviewed me said that he would have to take all of this to the detachment commander and "it could take months, or years, depending on if he approves now or not". Frankly, after hearing something like that, it is really disheartening. The problem with the Canadian Military is that it has the LONGEST joining process in the world.

Now, I'm pretty much at a crossroads. I'm 25 years old. I don't want to keep waiting for my life to start, let alone wait for these guys to process my application, to POSSIBLY tell me that I'll have to wait even longer. I'm a very, very patient man, if I was already in the military and had to wait for certain things, I don't mind that at all, but I'm not in yet, so I feel like I am wasting so much time on NOTHING.

So, I have two choices, for which I've made a plan, I guess you could say. Wait for the Canadian Military to reply when I hand in these last few things (which will be start of next week) or Join the FFL. I'm familiar with the FFL, I've been researching it for years, and this website is ridiculously helpful in that regard as well. My plan is to see if I have any sort of replies from the Canadian Military until start or end of July. If nothing by then, I'll withdraw and join the FFL.

I should say, I'm somewhat fit, but improving every day. I don't smoke. I don't drink. I don't do drugs. I don't get in trouble with the law. No bullcrap. I have made sure of this because the military is what I have always wanted, so I wanted to be... "clean", for lack of better word. I love physical activity, I'm a fast learner, hard worker, I'd like to think I'm pretty smart, but no Einstein of course, aware of my surroundings, and I put a hell of a lot of effort in everything that I do, even if it's a crappy job. I'm the type of person that can't quit what I'm doing unless I'm done, I don't like to half-ass things. I'm a perfectionist, but not obsessive. I don't mind doing the mundane tasks of everyday life. I don't mind repetition. I can't see myself doing anything else. My original "life plan" consisted of Military, then Police. Although, I have always leaned toward making the military a career, assuming I like it as much as I think I do. I should also point out the fact that I am fluent in English, and Brazilian Portuguese. However, I am able to understand, read but not pronounce Spanish, French and Italian simply because they are all very similar. Having said that, I am by no means an expert, or fluent in any of those, but reading french seems to be somewhat understandable without actually knowing it.

If I do join the FFL, I do have a few questions that I'd like some recent information on, if possible.

1. In regards to your declared name, when you join, would it be changed? I've read a few things in regards to this but I am unsure. Some say yes, some say no.
1a. If it has to be changed, is that only for the FFL or if you wanted to keep that name, you were able to afterwards, if you decided to leave?
1b. If it does not have to be changed, could you anyway?

2. It seems you are able to "apply" for French Citizenship after 3 years of FFL service. Has anyone here done this or heard/know of people who has? If so, is it a long process? I feel like if I did join the FFL, I'd want to start a new life there, and not go back to the west.

3. I like the fact promotions go by examinations rather than degrees. Having said that, I've read that non-french cannot be Officers. Is this true? If so, let's say one would apply for citizenship and got it after whatever amount of time it took, could he do it then? Or am I mistaken in reading this?

4. After two years, it seems, you are able to specialize in different things. Do you get to choose this or is it chosen for you? Could you perhaps choose multiple at once? What about courses, to learn different skills, or is that the same thing as specializing? I am really confused.

5. On the FFL main website (assuming it is the main website: http://en.legion-recrute.com) on the "Wages" tab, it says "During your first years as a legionnaire and until you obtain the rank of corporal (i.e. 2 to 4 years), you are equipped, fed and accommodated free of charge. " I'd love some clarification on this. Would these things cost after you reach Corporal? There wasn't any explanation so I thought I'd ask.

6. In terms of deployments, how often are those after you report to your chosen, or selected for you, regiment? Is there a regiment that has more deployments than others, if at all possible? If not, could you -volunteer- for a deployment? I think it'd be disappointing not to have one at all.

I would appreciate any and all thoughts, advice, criticism, anything at all.

Welcome, How long have you been waiting, sir? If you want to join the US army by a green card I know you will have to pass through an extensive background check which could last for up to two years. I was researching that but my family over there wasn't willing to sponsor me so I turned to the FFL. My point is, Canadian army or US you're gonna be waiting for a lot anyways.
Hi,Al and welcome
1. A+B : you can ask to change your name /explaing the reasons why
Might be accorded,or maybe not
If your identity was changed. ..you will, eventually have to restore your original identity,rectification !
No one keeps their, nom d'emprunt,it is temporaire!
You can become a french citizen, if accepted....and choose a francophied sounding name, if desired (could be a diffrent from your original or legion name. .)
2. Non French can become officiers and have usually taken french citizenship
3. Takes time and needs certain abilities. ..age, expérience, linguistique, éducational,. ..forget it (your mind wanders too much)
4. Learning différent skills, sure you can. .begin with french
5. Just as well, the lower ranks are, heberged and fed (living off baracks is just not possible on the lower ranks wage. . (unless, you have a scam of some sorts....)
6. Depending where you are sent /regiment, you will be deployed where they tell you (you can manifest your wants. .i wanna go here or go there : good luck

Even, le terrible

Joseph Cosgrove

Hi Al and welcome to the forum. It may be a good idea to make up your mind for sure: Canadian military or FFL. Although age 25 isn't a problem in the legion, it may be in the Canadian army.
If you choose the FFL. it would be a good idea to condense your reasons for wanting to join. Also if asked why you did not join the Brazilian or Canadian Military, no point in giving a long drawn out answer when a couple of sentences will do.
Again assuming that you choose the Legion you must get yourself in tip top condition. It's a long way to go to get told to come back in three months because you over estimated your physical prowess.

Welcome to the forum and note posts by the 'Greens' for they have served. Be circumspect of comments from those in 'Blue' (self included) but especially the Wannabes.

Some 'Blues' have served such as USMRET and self former RM officer via ranks. Old Fart 79 in May.
Hey guys,

I appreciate all the replies. It's definitely a lot to think about.

I first applied on the beginning of 2017, and I'm still waiting. It's getting to the point that it's too much. Like I said, I'm a very patient man, and I wouldn't mind waiting for things while already in the military, but since I'm not, it feels like a waste of time.

I think waiting until the start or end of July seems like a good plan. If nothing by then, I'll just get on a plane and try my luck with the FFL. Nothing really to lose here, have thought about making a life elsewhere for a long time now, so we'll see.


Hyper Active Member
1. There was some short period of time when you could choose whether or not you want to change name. Now is mandatory again, so yes, you need to change your name and it's only for FFL.
You can take your real name back after about 2 years when you get your passport or you can keep legion name and go in to process of legally changing it.

2. For citizenship you need full 5 y contract and maybe one shorter more

4. Yes you can choose to some degree (depends on regiment). Joe can tell us better on this.

5. I think that during first 5 years you live in barracks regardless of rank.

6. Maybe 2 REP have more deployments, but doesn't have to be. You can't volontaire. If your company goes, you go. You can only choose not to go if deployment is in your home country. (that's highly likely war between Canada and France :))

Joseph Cosgrove

The idea of choosing your regiment depends on a few things, Where you finish in basic training. If you want to go to the REP and basically the rest go where they are needed. An example was the big build up of the 13DBLE. Nearly all the recruits were sent there.

The REP is different, if you really want to go after your basic training, chances are you will get it. Why is that, because the REP is on an island. You have to wait 3 weeks before you get your wings up. On a weekend or a long weekend, you can't just get a train and visit France. The discipline is supposed to be stricter (?) Not all the anciens who have served in other regiments will agree with this.

During basic you will be explained the different regiments and their principle roles. At the end of basic, there will be places allocated to each regiment. If there are 5 places for 2 REI and the first 5 asked for it,, simple, no more places for 2 REI.
Hey guys,

Apologies for the long reply. I appreciate all the information regarding this.

In regards to the name change... I'd imagine if you wanted to take your name back after those two years, it'd be somewhat of a mess when it comes to fixing name on uniform, paperwork, etc, so that definitely sucks. Can you choose a name, are you given one or at least given the ability to choose from a specific list, if any at all?

When you're finished all your training and are sent to a regiment, -what- exactly are you? Would you be considered a "Rifleman" of sorts? I ask this since it says you can specialize after two years, so I'm curious as to what you actually are, and your job before specialization. I'm aware you may have many different "jobs", or maybe even "tasks", that they do on a daily basis but I'm still unsure of the "main" one, I guess.

Since you mentioned that it depends on the regiment, whether you can choose a certain specialization or not, I was wondering how exactly does that work? Let's say you wanted to pick (going based on the website mentioned on my OP) parachutist, sniper, etc... but your regiment doesn't have any "companies" that have any of those, does that mean you wouldn't be allowed to specialize in those things? What if you wanted to specialize on both, if not more, with a regiment that does have companies of those specializations?

The two regiments I'm looking into are 2e REP and 13e DBLE. Are those regiments usually -easy- to get into, assuming there is room, and you've asked for it first or is it based on performance at basic if you're even able to choose? I'm not sure yet which one to choose, if I were to join, but I am leaning more towards 2e REP since it is Airborne. Also, to touch on what you said Joseph, I'd appreciate some more clarification on REP. Do you mean it'd take 3 weeks once you first get there, to start their training? Slightly confused on this part.

After some googling, I've found that 2e REP has a "selection" themselves? Whether or not this is accurate, I got it from Wikipedia, it states: ""Sharping up" for 2e R.E.P takes 12 months of physical, mental and psychological tests across all terrain and weather conditions including special operations training." Is that accurate at all? If so, say one individual failed this process, would they be sent to another regiment?

Once again, I apologize for the long posts, but I like to get as much information as possible on something I'm interested in.
You dont choose your regiment unless, you come in the top of your class, even then its not garunteed. You will be asked which regiment you prefer but in the end the Legion decides where it wants/needs you.

REP requires some extra medical tests and fitness requirements as well as vision requirements for your TAP. One recent EV said you do a full scan from the hips up before you go to Calvi after selection.

To answer your question about not shaping up, a recent member on the forum Finleythefox was sent to Rep, did not enjoy it and asked to be transferred at which time he got sent to 2REI before going Civil.

Thanks for the reply, Snafu. I think I understand it better now.

I'd also appreciate any and all answers regarding the other points.


Joseph Cosgrove

Hey guys,

When you're finished all your training and are sent to a regiment, -what- exactly are you? Would you be considered a "Rifleman" of sorts? I ask this since it says you can specialize after two years, so I'm curious as to what you actually are, and your job before specialization. I'm aware you may have many different "jobs", or maybe even "tasks", that they do on a daily basis but I'm still unsure of the "main" one, I guess.

Legionnaire ?

After some googling, I've found that 2e REP has a "selection" themselves? Whether or not this is accurate, I got it from Wikipedia, it states: ""Sharping up" for 2e R.E.P takes 12 months of physical, mental and psychological tests across all terrain and weather conditions including special operations training." Is that accurate at all? If so, say one individual failed this process, would they be sent to another regiment?

Please read my response shown above, it differs to wikipedia "sharping up" but more accurate.

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