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Thread: Spanish Foreign Legion?

  1. #1
    Member merlin1's Avatar
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    Spanish Foreign Legion?

    I know the Spanish Legion stopped accepting non-citizen foreigners in 1987. But in this decade they have begun to accept, along with the rest of the Spanish army, recruits with citizenship in Latin American countries, and even foreigners who have acquired Spanish residency status, which is not extremely difficult to acquire. I have dual Costa Rican/American citizenship, this is why the Spanish legion is attractive to me, as there is no language barrier for me.

    I heard the Spanish Legion is more brutal than the FFL. The lifestyle is said to be harder. The pay is said to be worse than the FFL's pay?

    What do you guys know about this topic?
    Enemy of Mankind, Training for the Legion, in New York City.

  2. #2
    hannibal
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin1
    I know the Spanish Legion stopped accepting non-citizen foreigners in 1987. But in this decade they have begun to accept, along with the rest of the Spanish army, recruits with citizenship in Latin American countries, and even foreigners who have acquired Spanish residency status, which is not extremely difficult to acquire. I have dual Costa Rican/American citizenship, this is why the Spanish legion is attractive to me, as there is no language barrier for me.
    If you will check in the archive you will find some old posts about the Spanish Foreign Legion in the past and now. From what I have heard they have again began accepting foreigners, mostly due to low interest among Spanish people for military profession. Spain has heard time to fill up the quotas for their professional army. Like some other European armies, I guess.
    Quote Originally Posted by merlin1
    I heard the Spanish Legion is more brutal than the FFL. The lifestyle is said to be harder. The pay is said to be worse than the FFL's pay?
    It is believed that the discipline is harder and more severe. It is said that you may even get some slapping and beating by the very brutal NCOs, especially during the training period. But once you are in your are the "man". Or a woman. You see from recently they also accept women.

    For more information about whereabouts I suggest you contact the people at this website. They might be able to answer your questions more concrectly than I have: http://www.lalegion.com/

    Or you can check the official website of Spanish Ministry of Defence, where they have an entire section dedicated to the Spanish [Foreign] Legion

    URL: http://www.ejercito.mde.es/organizac.../principal.htm

    You may contact them with any questions.

    As it seems you may get posted to Ronda, Almeria, Ceuta or Melilla (Spanish enclaves in Morocco). They are beautiful, picturesque cities.

    I presume the NCOs are now more gentle since they also have ladies...

    Last edited by hannibal; 27th October 2005 at 21:56.

  3. #3
    Member merlin1's Avatar
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    Thank you for the info, it is much appreciated.
    Enemy of Mankind, Training for the Legion, in New York City.

  4. #4
    Krechnek
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    It is believed that the discipline is harder and more severe. It is said that you may even get some slapping and beating by the very brutal NCOs, especially during the training period.
    Okay, have I missed something here?

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    Active Member DOOMSDAYDEXTER's Avatar
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    Spanish Legion

    There is plenty of stuff on the net available if you habla castellano, including a rather gay PROMO vid on www.militaryphotos.net . They seem to spend a lot of their time stopping Africans from entering the Moroccan enclaves at the moment.
    I really do need to get out more.

    Regards
    I have become Best. Destroyer of Livers.

  6. #6
    hannibal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krechnek
    Okay, have I missed something here?
    What? Well, the sources I have read all agreed that the basic training was much more brutal than in the French Foreign Legion. It is also much more shorter. From what I have heard and read the NCOs often practised with face slapping and kicking on these training. I don't know if this is still true today, but until recently it used to be. I am afraid I know more about the History of the Spanish Foreign Legion during the Rif Wars than today.
    Quote Originally Posted by DOOMSDAYDEXTER
    They seem to spend a lot of their time stopping Africans from entering the Moroccan enclaves at the moment.
    Yep. My friend was in Ceuta about a year ago and took a few photos of them. She said to me that they all look like roosters... Chin up, big beards, open shirts, sharp eyes and straight line of a body when standing in attention. Pretty impressive About those Africans no one can stop them. Before noon, when there is the strongest heat several thousands of them gather in front of the fence and just stormed regardless injured or those trapped on the ground.... Like a true stampede.

    Anyway here's the photo of them in attention.

    Last edited by hannibal; 28th October 2005 at 23:38.

  7. #7
    Krechnek
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    What? Well, the sources I have read all agreed that the basic training was much more brutal than in the French Foreign Legion. It is also much more shorter. From what I have heard and read the NCOs often practised with face slapping and kicking on these training. I don't know if this is still true today, but until recently it used to be. I am afraid I know more about the History of the Spanish Foreign Legion during the Rif Wars than today.
    I must admit I never met a Spanish legionnaire. But I suppose you can be right. You get the impression tho the French say to experience the same thing, but of course there can be various "how often and how much"

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    I served in the Spanish Foreign Legion -they don't have the "foreign" anymore- and they don't beat you, I can assure you that. And yes, the training is very hard but nothing to be worried.
    They only accept latin American citizens who have the "green card" - permiso de residencia y trabajo - or the nationality. You can apply for the nationality after having 3 years of "green card"-.

    check this www.soldados.com there you have all the info.

  9. #9
    hannibal
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    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    I served in the Spanish Foreign Legion -they don't have the "foreign" anymore- and they don't beat you, I can assure you that.
    Which Tercio? Duque de Alba in Ceuta? Na ja, it is sure great to hear that the NCOs don't kick you around anymore during the training period. But the discipline during the Rif Wars and Franco regime period was certainly much more strict than in the French Foreign Legion. All books and even memoires of some foreigners confirm that. I don't know if this is still example but in 1920s every company had a special punishment squad, where it was almost impossible to survive...
    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    They only accept latin American citizens who have the "green card" - permiso de residencia y trabajo - or the nationality. You can apply for the nationality after having 3 years of "green card".
    What about other Europeans (Portuguese, Germans, Russians, Poles, Czechs etc.) with the knowledge of Spanish language and green card in their pocket?? Some say that members of Spanish minorities from Germany, Italy, France, UK and Belgium can also apply. Is that true?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    Which Tercio? Duque de Alba in Ceuta? Na ja, it is sure great to hear that the NCOs don't kick you around anymore during the training period. But the discipline during the Rif Wars and Franco regime period was certainly much more strict than in the French Foreign Legion. All books and even memoires of some foreigners confirm that. I don't know if this is still example but in 1920s every company had a special punishment squad, where it was almost impossible to survive...
    The Spanish legion usually call its regiments "bandera". So you have the I Bandera, II Bandera, etc. But if you're interested I served in the tercio "gran capitan" in Melilla.
    Of course, a lot of people have told me that during the Franco regime and the "transición" -post-franco- the officers and the NCO kick, punched, etc to almost anyone, specially the one that was weak or different and they had a pretty fascist ideology. I heard that when you were in a "bad" position during formation they put you "well" with a kick in the stomach or in the chest. And that was "every day" bread so in worst cases you could even go to a hospital for the beatings.
    Don't forget that Franco and his friends were the founders of the Spanish legion so you can get an idea of how hard it was.
    That doesn't happen anymore, the worst that can happen to you is a slap in the back, it doesn't hurt. Actually to me I was only "slapped" in the back once, mainly because I was ******* up the hole company for my disastrous way of marching. My NCO told me "Are you gay?" "No first class corporal" then my NCO asked another dude the same thing but letting the dude know that he better answer "yes" so the dude said "YES, I'm gay first class corporal" so the NCO camed and slapped me in the back and said "GOOOD!!! MORE WOMAN FOR US!!!"
    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    What about other Europeans (Portuguese, Germans, Russians, Poles, Czechs etc.) with the knowledge of Spanish language and green card in their pocket?? Some say that members of Spanish minorities from Germany, Italy, France, UK and Belgium can also apply. Is that true?
    I'm not pretty sure about the situation of EU citizens. I heard that in some cases they CAN accept you but that's only for citizens of the EU, I'm pretty sure that those "minorities" you mention are the ones that get accepted. The other- Poles, Russians, etc, etc- CAN'T join even if they have the green card. They can only if they have the Spanish nationality. Actually, during my two years I never met a Russian or Polish dude. I only met latin American citizens, mainly from Ecuador or Colombia.

    The latin American thing is a booby trap, if you don't have the nationality you can only join certain units -mainly the most difficult ones- and only have certain regiments to join -mainly, again, the most difficult ones- and you have to sign a three year contract if you're Spanish you only have to sign a two year contract.
    Last edited by flora; 29th October 2005 at 21:59.

  11. #11
    Member merlin1's Avatar
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    I am a dual citizen of the USA and Costa Rica. What might those difficult units be flora?
    Enemy of Mankind, Training for the Legion, in New York City.

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    If you're a foreign citizen with green card I know that you can join the legion, the spanish marines and the Brigada Paracaidista -BRIPAC- (paratroopers). the marines send you to the Tercio de Armada -TEAR- and the BRIPAC and Legion you're -they have changed that this year- anywhere you want -Madrid, Ceuta, Melilla, Murcia, etc-.

    You can check this in detail here: http://www.soldados.com/como_ingresa...2005_anexo.pdf

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    I forgot, one of the best things of the spanish army is the "liberalism" on the recruits.

    First of all, you will be gettin your train or bus ticket PAID to the recruit depot. In the boot camp you can have ALL of your belongins with you, you can write home, call and you even have the chance -if you haven't been "arrested" or been called for guard duty- to leave the boot camp from 6 pm to 11 pm EVERY DAY. On weekends you can leave home -Again, if you haven't been arrested or called for guard duty- or anywere you want, you leave on Friday around 3 pm and you come back on Sunday around 11 pm. I was onced in boot camp for almost one month due to guard duty and arrest. But be careful, don't get involved in fights or trouble, when you come back to boot camp THEY WILL FIND OUT and kick your ass out of the army.

  14. #14
    hannibal
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    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    The spanish legion usually call his regiments "bandera" so you have the I Bandera, II bandera, etc. But if you're interested I served in the tercio "gran capitan" in Melilla.
    Hm, I always thought that the Spanish Foreign Legion called their regiments "tercio" and battalions "bandera".
    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    Of course, a lot of people had told me that during the Franco regime and the "transición" -post-franco- the officers and the NCO kick, punched, etc to almost anyone, specially the one that was weak or different and they had a pretty fascist ideology. I heard that when you were in a "bad" position during formation they put you "well" with a kick in the stomach or in the chest. And that was "every day" bread so in worst cases you could even go to a hospital for the beatings.
    Yes, this is also what I have been told and said. The discipline was very severe. But I think that during the Rif Wars and the Spanish Civil War it was even more sadistic if I may say so. Franco, Yague and Millan Astray implemented a severe discipline. I have read Scurr's book again the other day and he describes some of these punishments. Some of them were indeed quite sadistic. Millan Astray was in my opinion a little bit cuckoo if you know what I mean.
    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    That dosn't happen anymore, the worst that can happen to you is a slap in the back, it doesn't hurt. Actually to me I was only "slapped" in the back once, mainly because I was ******* up the hole company for my disastrous way of marching. My NCO told me "Are you gay?" "No mi first class corporal" then my NCO asked another dude the same thing but letting the dude know that he better answer "yes" so the dude said "YES, I'm gay mi first class corporal" so the NCO camed and slapped me in the back and said "GOOOD!!! MORE WOMAN FOR US!!!"
    Hehehehehe... But how do they treat the women recruits these days? Do they have special female NCOs or... That would be kinda funny or may I say interesting to observe.
    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    I'm not pretty sure about the situation of EU citizens. I heard that in some cases they CAN accept you but that's only for citizens of the EU, I'm pretty sure that those "minorities" you mention is the ones that get accepted.. The other -polacs, russians, etc, etc- CAN'T join even if they have the green card.
    I thought that they accepted any EU citizen, including Poles, Czechs, Portuguese, belgians, French etc. just that they can speak and understand Spanish. But I wonder did during Franco's times the Legion accept foreigners? Especially after World War II? I have seen lots of Foreign Office telegrams about English who joined the Legion Extranjera before and during the war.
    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    Actually, during my two years I never met a Russian or Polish dude. I only met latin American citizens mainly from Ecuador or Colombia.
    What about other Latin American countries like Peru, Argentina, Chile, Mexico or Panama? Can they get accepted as well? During the Rif War many Cubanese joined the Spanish legion. So they were the only "foreigners" that you have met during you service in Melilla?
    Quote Originally Posted by flora
    The latin American thing is a boobytrap, if you don't have the nationality you can only join certain units -mainly the most difficult ones- and only have certain regiments to join -mainly, again, the most difficult ones- and you have to sign a three year contract if you're Spanish you only have to sign a two year contract.
    Interesting. I hope you will tell us more about your time in the Spanish legion. Quite fascinating. Does it have any outpost on the islands off Marocco like Chafarinas and Alhucemas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    Hm, I always thought that the Spanish Foreign Legion called their regiments "tercio" and battalions "bandera".
    Quite right. Since English is not my "native" tongue I called "regiments" to what we say here is "destiny" -the place you're assigned after you pass basic training- if someone can give me a better translation I would thank him so. Sorry for the confusing of my language.
    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    Yes, this is also what I have been told and said. The discipline was very severe. But I think that during the Riff Wars and the Spanish Civil War it was even more sadistic if I may say so. Franco, Yague and Millan Astray implemented a severe discipline. I have read Scurr's book again the other day and he describes some of these punishments. Some of them were indeed quite sadistic. Millan Astray was in my opinion a little bit cuckoo if you know what I mean.
    Indeed. You never heard the most (in)famous phrase of Astray "Muerte a la inteligencia, viva la muerte, viva la muerte!" -Death to the intelligence, long live death!, long live death!-? I guess you can make a pretty good idea of what was the Spanish legion during those days. An officer once told me that while they were on patrol in the desert -when Spain had colonies or "protectorados" in Africa- they found two German deserters from the French Legion. These dudes had actually deserted, robbed and assault a taxi driver, took the taxi and were so dumb that actually got lost and ended up in the desert. My officer took them to the commander of the Spanish legion post, the commander beat the shit out of those two Germans and delivered them to the French Legion PM -were they would be probably beaten again-. Feel sorry for those two.

    The Spanish legion, as the French, has many myths. Before I joined I was filled up with histories of violence...one dude even told me that the NCO's give you a bag of DRUGS so you can be able to pass the basic training. A complete bluff. The only drug that I received from an NCO during basic training was a big shout in the ear and insults to my mother and my family.

    Back in Astray. He was named the commander in chief of an obscure company called the "Cuerpo de Mutilados de Guerra por la Patria" -Corp of mutilated of the war for the motherland- that was for the people that were mutilated during the civil war and had a very funny warcry "A mi los mutilados!!" -To me the mutilated!!"-, Astray had an eye and an arm missing, so it gave him a pretty obscure look.



    Astray on the right, Franco on the left.



    Astray with his patch.

    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    Hehehehehe... But how do they treat the women recruits these days? Do they have special female NCOs or... That would be kinda funny or may I say interesting to observe.
    Nope. Woman have the same NCO -that can be a woman or a men- of men. My first NCO was, actually, a woman...she left the section because she got pregnant -she was married to another NCO of the company-. She was actually pretty mean, the first words that said to the woman were "No quiero zorras, nada de mamadas por las esquinas" -I don't want any slut, no blowjobs in the corners!"-. And to us she said that she would rip our heads out and use them as an ashtray. Quite a welcome.

    Woman sleep on different barracks -you can guess why-, have a more "relaxing" endurances tests -don't know why-, but they do the same as men.

    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    I thought that they accept any EU citizen, including Poles, Czechs, Portuguese, Belgians, French etc. just that they can speak and understand Spanish.
    Nope, don't know why.
    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    But I wonder did during Franco's times the Legion accept foreigners? Especially after World War II? I have seen lots of Foreign Office telegrams about English who joined the Legion Extranjera before and during the war.
    Yes, I do think they use to accept foreigners during Franco regime.
    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    What about other Latin American countries like Peru, Argentina, Chile, Mexico or Panama? Can they get accepted as well?
    Yes, actually any citizen of Latin America -Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Panama, Cuba, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, etc, etc- and of Guinea Ecuatorial - former Spanish colony- that has the green card can get accepted.
    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    During the Rif War many Cubanese joined the Spanish legion. So they were the only "foreigners" that you have met during you service in Melilla?
    If my memory doesn't fail me I met a lot of Ecuadorians, Colombians, a dude from Panama, other from Bolivia...a Mexican, a half Italian half Spanish, a dude from Morroco and an Englishman that looked like GI Joe and actually act like one, pretty dumb.
    Quote Originally Posted by hannibal
    Interesting. I hope you will tell us more about your time in the Spanish legion. Quite fascinating. Does it have any outpost on the islands off Marocco like Chafarinas and Alhucemas?
    No, the legion has his true "fortress" in Ceuta and Melilla since they are the only thing left of the Spanish colonies in Africa -quite sad--.

    Of course, I can tell you anything about the Spanish legion.

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