My attempt to join

Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#1
In March of this year I presented myself at Aubagne and the following is a day to day experience.
March 31st I arrived, presenting my passport to the gentleman behind the plexiglass. He motioned for me to sit once he took my passport. I waited for twenty or thirty minutes until a Russian kid showed up and waited with him for ten minutes till a Caporal showed up who instructed us to perform 5 pull-ups on the pull-up bar located in the entrance of the office. We passed and were led to a building where we did a paper IQ test. I only got 6 out of 12 which they said may or may not disqualify me and asked if I wished to continue or return in three months. I said I'd take my chances with the computer test which they said would be done the following day. After that they inventoried my suitcase and the contents of my pocket, then Paradise.
I went to a area outside the building where it was basically a gated waiting area with a portable building. Inside was a television with Legion videos and reading material from dictonaries, things to help with IQ test, pictures of ranks etc. I took a seat under the tent with the others, about twenty guys from all over the world: two from Nepal, five Brazilians and a mish-mash of Italians, Spaniards and Arabs. I was surprised to find another Canadian but by that point he had formed a relationship with a American so I was the only ‘Westerner’ without a group. However, what suprised me was how nice people were. The Italians, who spoke decent English, chatted me up along with the Nepalese guys. Shortly after arriving we had lunch where I got to know the American and Canadian who gave me the rundown on how things go. After lunch they were called to go Blue and we saw an influx of guys come in, one of whom was a South African (white) guy and Georgians and more Spaniards. The mood was relaxed as all we did was wait, drink coffee and hot chocolate from the machine located inside the building and smoke cigarettes. If you wanted water you'd have to walk a bit to the fountains located next to the showers and the toilets. Once nighttime hit we were shown our sleeping quarters and were able to shower, which only last two minutes when a rogue unzipped the flaps and yelled at me to go.
The next morning I took the computer test and passed, and waited some more in Paradise. By this point the Blues were down about thirty guys as I guess Thursday is when the selection board decides who stays and who goes. There was very little interaction between the Blues and us civil guys, but if you have a fellow (insert nationality here) they'll take care of you as they have access to a store to purchase drinks, cigarettes etc. The weekend was laid back as the caporal-chef basically said “don't **** me, I won't **** youâ€￾ so we kept Paradise clean, didn't make much noise and didn't interact with the Blues.
So fast forward to Monday when I took the medical and that was it for me. The doctor, an Officer of some sort, said I had scoliosis and I also revealed I had eczema as a kid when filling out the medical questionnaire. When I returned to Paradise it was obvious who was going home as those who passed were given a yellow vest, shorts and did the running/pull-up test. After lunch myself along with half the Brazilians and Arabs were let go.
I have to say that while I was disappointed I was not selected I had one of the best times of my life there; I will never forget the people I was with nor will I forget the balls it took to actually try to join. While we were being escorted out I finally realized what I had done and couldn't be prouder. I am currently in the process of re-joining the Canadian Forces after a situation I will not go into made that difficult. With that being cleared up hopefully a job offer will come within the next month or two which I am very happy about.
For those attempting to join there isn't much I can really offer you but I will say the following: - GO! You'll never know if you'll make it so just buy that ticket and TRY! What I didn't want was to live with the regret of "what could have been"?
 

Cernunnos

Active Member
Pro Member
Messages
218
Points
0
Location
.
Home Country
England
#2
At least you gave it a go, mate, shame you didn't get in. Did you know you have scoliosis or did you find out there? Is it bad, if you don't mind me asking?
 
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#3
I only became aware of it when he pointed it out. It's something that can be fixed and isn't that bad. I have no pain and am currently working on it.
 

Cernunnos

Active Member
Pro Member
Messages
218
Points
0
Location
.
Home Country
England
#4
That's good to hear. Are you going to need surgery then or is there another way to fix it?
 
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#5
Working with a chiropractor will be more than enough. I was never given a letter indicating that I cannot return only being told by the Legionnare who processed us out that we may return in October of 2018
 

voltigeur

Moderator
Legionnaire
Former Moderator
Messages
4,040
Points
48
Location
Canada
Home Country
Canada
#6
What ever happen to you later in life, you have tried. If you had not done so, you would always be wondering "what if"
 

dusaboss

Hyper Active Member
Messages
1,783
Points
63
Location
Serbia
Home Country
Yugoslavia
#7
(...) the caporal-chef basically said “don't **** me, I won't **** youâ€￾ (...)
My English is bad so I wonder what " **** " could be?- "Don't lie to me?"- "Don't trick me?"- Maybe, "don't forget me?" Nah, it's more likely some sexual connotation. :) :cool:
Now to get serious. Man, thanks for sharing your experience with us. Totally agree with "regret" part.
So do you know why exactly they reject you? Only medical reasons or your overall performance? Mild scoliosis that you didn't even noticed and eczema as a kid are not disqualifying factors.
 

Rapace

Moderator
Messages
5,309
Points
63
Location
France
Home Country
France
#8
(...) a caporal showed up who instructed us to perform 5 pull-ups on the pull-up bar located in the entrance of the office. (...)
Interesting ‘detail’ here, that could be a ‘killer’ for some candidates. So far the accounts we've had mentioned that only 3 pull-ups were required. Another proof that some rules in the Legion are not carved in stone, but simply written with a pencil on a paper sheet: easy to erase and rewrite... :)

My English is bad so I wonder what " **** " could be?- "Don't lie to me?"- "Don't trick me?"- Maybe, "don't forget me?" Nah, it's more likely some sexual connotation. :) :cool: (...)
He explained it just after... “we kept Paradise clean, didn't make much noise and didn't interact with the Blues.â€￾

(...) Mild scoliosis that you didn't even noticed and eczema as a kid are not disqualifying factors.
How do you know that? Have you ever worked as a Legion doctor in the selection center? I appreciate your enthusiasm, but don't confuse your opinion with the reality. What you believe is true may or may not be the actual truth.
 
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#10
Interesting ‘detail’ here, that could be a ‘killer’ for some candidates. So far the accounts we've had mentioned that only 3 pull-ups were required. Another proof that some rules in the Legion are not carved in stone, but simply written with a pencil on a paper sheet: easy to erase and rewrite... :) (...)
I believe the reason they wanted us to do five and then the paper IQ test was to filter out people right at the gate as plenty of people were coming. Having spoken to those that spoke English it seemed like when they showed up at Aubagne to present themselves three people who were waiting failed the pull-ups and were rejected before they even got started. It seems like some people weren't able to fully extended their arms as they came down from pulling themselves up.
 

Rapace

Moderator
Messages
5,309
Points
63
Location
France
Home Country
France
#11
I believe the reason they wanted us to do five and then the paper IQ test was to filter out people right at the gate as plenty of people were coming. (...)
Typical example of ‘flexible’ rules to manage supply an demand balance.
In one of the numerous Legion documentaries available on YouTube, one can see a candidate sent off for not being able to do three ‘proper’ pull-ups. The guy doesn't even cross the door... Fortunately, he was Italian, so the travel from his home country wasn't too long nor costly. Imagine the same situation with a candidate coming from the other side of the world, having spent either a lot of money or a lot of time travelling and being turned down after 3 mn...
So, wannabes should better work on their pull-ups, if they want to see what's on the other side of the door... :D
 
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#12
I witnessed two sport tests and most guys failed the pull-ups as they were not able to fully extend their arms on the way down. If I remember 8 guys were rejected due to this reason.
 

jwaltos

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
Messages
117
Points
18
Location
Canada
Home Country
Canada
#13
Very nice and articulate post CanuckHopeful.

If possible and if you are inclined, try to join the Canadian Forces as an officer (having obtained the requisite degree or diploma).
Richard III didn't have any issues in battle on horseback and had he succeeded...

Good luck.
 
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#14
Very nice and articulate post CanuckHopeful.

If possible and if you are inclined, try to join the Canadian Forces as an officer (having obtained the requisite degree or diploma).
Richard III didn't have any issues in battle on horseback and had he succeeded...

Good luck.
I am currently in the process of joining the Canadian Forces. I had an issue which prevented me from doing so but that, as of last month, has been rectified. I completed my Medical and Interview two weeks ago and was deemed eligible for service assuming all my references etc come through. My scoliosis is not serious and I have been working with a chiropractor along with at home work to correct it.
 

SnafuSmite

Active Member
Messages
525
Points
43
Location
South of South
Home Country
South Africa
#15
I am currently in the process of joining the Canadian Forces. I had an issue which prevented me from doing so but that, as of last month, has been rectified. I completed my Medical and Interview two weeks ago and was deemed eligible for service assuming all my references etc come through. My scoliosis is not serious and I have been working with a chiropractor along with at home work to correct it.
Strange how life works out, even though you never made it into the Legion, it still guided you and created opportunities.
 
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#16
Strange how life works out, even though you never made it into the Legion, it still guided you and created opportunities.
To give you all an update I learned that my waiver has been granted and my application will be moving forward. Not expecting a job offer this year, maybe early next year. I hesitated telling the Canadian Forces about my attempt to join the Legion but wanted to disclose everything about my life and in particular my time in France. It turned out to be fine. When I said I wanted to be a soldier I really meant it.
 

Nickfury

Top Member
Messages
3,113
Points
48
Location
Wandering the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu.
Home Country
San Marino
#17
To give you all an update I learned that my waiver has been granted and my application will be moving forward. Not expecting a job offer this year, maybe early next year. I hesitated telling the Canadian Forces about my attempt to join the Legion but wanted to disclose everything about my life and in particular my time in France. It turned out to be fine. When I said I wanted to be a soldier I really meant it.
That is ******* outstanding. Pity the Legion didn't take you as you seem to have the right mental attitude to fit in and enjoy the place. It takes a unique type of individual and mindset to fit in there. I am sure they were really interested in your time in France and it does really show that you are committed. Good luck and I hope you hear back from them soon. Do you get to choose your unit or job/MOS?
 
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Toronto
Home Country
Canada
#18
(...) Do you get to choose your unit or job/MOS?
Infantry will be my trade in the Canadian Forces but I can’t choose which regiment I wish to join, all I can do is make a preference. Basically where I’m needed I’ll go. If I get the offer it’ll be for a three year contract to start and then I’ll take it from there
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
Messages
2,643
Points
83
Location
Thailand
Home Country
New Zealand
#19
Infantry will be my trade in the Canadian Forces but I can’t choose which regiment I wish to join, all I can do is make a preference. Basically where I’m needed I’ll go. If I get the offer it’ll be for a three year contract to start and then I’ll take it from there
Excellent news, I wish you all the best. Do get back to us and let us know how you are getting on.
 

SnafuSmite

Active Member
Messages
525
Points
43
Location
South of South
Home Country
South Africa
#20
To give you all an update I learned that my waiver has been granted and my application will be moving forward. Not expecting a job offer this year, maybe early next year. I hesitated telling the Canadian Forces about my attempt to join the Legion but wanted to disclose everything about my life and in particular my time in France. It turned out to be fine. When I said I wanted to be a soldier I really meant it.
Well done mate!
 

Most viewed threads of the week