[Question] Queries- Swimming, Money, and Elbow

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#1
Just turned 35 and as the window of opportunity is closing, I aim to make my try for the Legion early next year. I have some questions though which I hope can be answered here.

First involves swimming. Is it taught in the Legion or do I need to have respectable swimming skills beyond survival swimming prior to applying? I am partial to joining the 3rd Regiment stationed in South America since the jungle is my thing and of course, swimming is key in that area with the rivers and all. Second is about money matters. As I have a family dependent on me, should I earn the kepi blanc, will I be allowed to periodically remit part of my salary to them? Third, my left arm has some slight elbow hyperextension from a fall when I was 5 or 6. Functionally though, it is almost as strong and stable as my dominant right arm. Will this be a reason for being rejected?

Thanks in advance for your replies!
 

Nickfury

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#2
Just turned 35 and as the window of opportunity is closing, I aim to make my try for the Legion early next year. I have some questions though which I hope can be answered here.

First involves swimming. Is it taught in the Legion or do I need to have respectable swimming skills beyond survival swimming prior to applying? I am partial to joining the 3rd Regiment stationed in South America since the jungle is my thing and of course, swimming is key in that area with the rivers and all. Second is about money matters. As I have a family dependent on me, should I earn the kepi blanc, will I be allowed to periodically remit part of my salary to them? Third, my left arm has some slight elbow hyperextension from a fall when I was 5 or 6. Functionally though, it is almost as strong and stable as my dominant right arm. Will this be a reason for being rejected?

Thanks in advance for your replies!
Well you are from the Philippines, you better know how to swim pretty well or they might laugh you out of selection! :) I grew up on an island and never had formal lessons but I can swim for days and was in the water all the time. So get your water time, you don't have to be fast or pretty but be able to go for a couple KM and be able to dive down and swim underwater. The test is only like 100m swim breast stroke or side stroke and then 10 or 20 m underwater.

I am not sure the arm will be a problem, no one here is a doctor and if you have full function I would just do your best to NOT draw attention to it in the medical. Don't over flex it unless specifially asked by the doctor. I would try to only go to normal flexion if I were you.

Your biggest struggle will be that you are from the Philippines and the visa will be a bear to get, unless you already worked that out. I think family is much less of an issue for guy from developing nations since the legion knows well that you have little to no good options to support your family back home in a decent lifestyle. That alone is big motivation for you and other guys from developing nations to stay despite having family. But for guys from developed nations having family to support can be seen as more of a risk from what I saw. Though, if you have kids I might not mention that and just stick with sending money to help mom and dad or siblings...that alone is understandable, kids might still be seen as a risk.

Being 35 you have to light a fire and GO soon. Due to your age you need to be in really amazing shape, be able to run and do the pullups and pushups. You NEED to be in better shape than at least half the guys who are 20 to be considered as serious at your age. You don't need to be first, but you damn well better not be last...try to be just above the middle of the pack at all times at the MINIMUM. Also convince them you want to stay long term, not just a 5 year run (which would be great for your family if you can get EU citizenship! But don't talk about citizenship as a prime motivation in the interviews, that is secondary to being a soldier and having a career and serving with honor. ) That is far more important than the swimming since despite joking earlier I am sure you have enough swimming to easily pass the very very basic swim test in Castel.

I wish you lots of luck and hope you can get it together and get over there soon. God Speed!
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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#3
You question about swimming was do you have to be able to swim prior to joining. The answer is no. But if you are going to join next year, you might as well get some practice in. As for sending money to support your family, once you are in your regiment it will be easy enough to send money by western Union or some other money transfer orginiztion. But that is four months after joining.

As Nick said, saying you have children might not look good, but what you say is up to you.

So welcome to the forum and learn as much as you can before leaving.

P.S. there is one doctor that I know of on the forum, but I doubt if he makes 'on line' conslutations.
 
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#4
Thanks to you and Nickfury for the enlightening replies!

The Philippine archipelago is varied and unfortunately, I grew up in the cold boondocks where hiking for hours was and still is the main form of travel. The only decent body of water is a small river roughly 1 hour down south. More than half of the year torrential rains drown our village so swimming time is really limited.

As for the visa, I am working it out and by January, I am 99% sure it will be ready. Perhaps a short-stay visa will suffice and the Legion won't mind my overstaying in Castel when, hopefully, selected?

Just a rejoinder on the kids thing- as they are going to probably know it anyway in the psychological examination (I am not a good liar)- perhaps I'll just lay it all and hope for the best. Maybe I'll tell them that I need to put my daughter through medical school so I'll be staying for a longer period of time? I'm just wondering how economic reasons are received at the Legion?
 

Nickfury

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#5
Thanks to you and Nickfury for the enlightening replies!

The Philippine archipelago is varied and unfortunately, I grew up in the cold boondocks where hiking for hours was and still is the main form of travel. The only decent body of water is a small river roughly 1 hour down south. More than half of the year torrential rains drown our village so swimming time is really limited.

As for the visa, I am working it out and by January, I am 99% sure it will be ready. Perhaps a short-stay visa will suffice and the Legion won't mind my overstaying in Castel when, hopefully, selected?

Just a rejoinder on the kids thing- as they are going to probably know it anyway in the psychological examination (I am not a good liar)- perhaps I'll just lay it all and hope for the best. Maybe I'll tell them that I need to put my daughter through medical school so I'll be staying for a longer period of time? I'm just wondering how economic reasons are received at the Legion?
Well you don't need to be amazing at swimming and worst case they will hold you back and teach you till you can pass the test. I guess with your daughter roll the dice. They may well understand but...they want guys who want to be soldiers first and foremost. They know everyone has multiple motivations but sell them strongly on your desire to be a fighting man and reasons why you waited till 35 and didn't serve at home (if you didn't). Be fit and be keen and hardworking and think long term. Good luck.

Sent from my SM-G935S using Tapatalk
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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#6
I could understand that you want to earn money for your family, but I'm not the one who you have to convince, I live in Thailand and outside of the glitzy hotels and nightclubs, there are lot of poor. We've also been to Cambodia twice (three times if you count a border run by coach). So I understand what you are saying about helping the family. What you tell the Gestapo is up to you, but it's a long way to go and a lot of hopes counting on you. Whatever you decide, learn your story and stick to it. I am not telling you to lie.

As far as the Visa is concerned, it only applies for the French immigration, the legion dosen't care less. Should they ask you why you have only a short stay visa tell them that they don't give 5 year stay visas, because that is the minimum that you intend to stay.
 

dusaboss

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#7
Man, you joined forum in 2006. You needed only 12 years to decide to go. :) So go now before Duterte shoot you down. ;)
 

voltigeur

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#8
Thanks to you and Nickfury for the enlightening replies!

The Philippine archipelago is varied and unfortunately, I grew up in the cold boondocks where hiking for hours was and still is the main form of travel. The only decent body of water is a small river roughly 1 hour down south. More than half of the year torrential rains drown our village so swimming time is really limited.

As for the visa, I am working it out and by January, I am 99% sure it will be ready. Perhaps a short-stay visa will suffice and the Legion won't mind my overstaying in Castel when, hopefully, selected?

Just a rejoinder on the kids thing- as they are going to probably know it anyway in the psychological examination (I am not a good liar)- perhaps I'll just lay it all and hope for the best. Maybe I'll tell them that I need to put my daughter through medical school so I'll be staying for a longer period of time? I'm just wondering how economic reasons are received at the Legion?
Do not mention kids.
 

SnafuSmite

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#9
Just turned 35 and as the window of opportunity is closing, I aim to make my try for the Legion early next year. I have some questions though which I hope can be answered here.

First involves swimming. Is it taught in the Legion or do I need to have respectable swimming skills beyond survival swimming prior to applying? I am partial to joining the 3rd Regiment stationed in South America since the jungle is my thing and of course, swimming is key in that area with the rivers and all. Second is about money matters. As I have a family dependent on me, should I earn the kepi blanc, will I be allowed to periodically remit part of my salary to them? Third, my left arm has some slight elbow hyperextension from a fall when I was 5 or 6. Functionally though, it is almost as strong and stable as my dominant right arm. Will this be a reason for being rejected?

Thanks in advance for your replies!
It's never a bad idea to learn to swim, it's a basic skill that can do you no harm. Good luck and here's to hoping all works out for you.
 
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#10
Man, you joined forum in 2006. You needed only 12 years to decide to go. :) So go now before Duterte shoot you down. ;)
Haha, perhaps I had to go through lots of experiences to prepare me for the Legion. I don't do drugs so I don't feel threatened. Only had it once in the NL when I took up my master's there and that was 7 years ago.
 
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#11
Do not mention kids.
For as long as it is not asked, I won't volunteer. But they say they will rip you apart in the psychological exam so I would have to be consistent, right? Either consistently tell the truth or lie throughout the interview which would be quite a task for me.
 
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#12
It's never a bad idea to learn to swim, it's a basic skill that can do you no harm. Good luck and here's to hoping all works out for you.
I know. It's just that with a full time job (and another upcoming), I'm finding it hard to have time for it. But I will definitely hit the pool with about half a year in preparation ahead. Thank you!
 
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#13
Ifugao,

You need to hurry and go. I suspect the FFL would teach you to swim very quickly.

Otherwise stay at home and say to your beloved in Tagalog; Wala nang iba. Mahal kita and she will reply Salaamat porgi ka.

It is also true that the ladies of Cebu are Malanbing. But at 78 + with a 1st in Chinese (HK Govt Language School) what would I know ?

After 48 years under the thumb of; She who must be obeyed at all times, I live in constant fear, of my magnificent and fiery Chinese Dragon. Or do I ?

If you can't take a joke don't go. Finally I loved your country all those years ago.
 

mammikoura

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#14
So this was the deal back in 2013 regarding swimming. It changes a bit from time to time, at least it did during the 5 years I spent there.
But in 2013 you had to be able to pass the swimming test (just the swim part, not the dive at the end) in order to finish instruction. We had a few none swimmers but they got taken care of amazingly well, I think they had 2 swimming lessons per week for the most part. So no, you don't need to be able to swim when you go but you do need to learn it.

So better get practicing.
 

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