Transition to civilian life

Geneticcz

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#61
You see, you have to go back and really look at some of the posts and Legion Life, Legionnaires have lives outside the Legion. They are not on 24/7 Lock down for 5-years and the fantasy of what a Legionnaire or a Marine does everyday is pure fantasy and many on this forum have been thoroughly disappointed once they enlisted, a chap from Florida comes to mind. Everyday is not Beau Gueste or whatever fantasy there is out there.

And like was also stated numerous times, you can't watch a YouTube Documentary and think, oh this is easy, I can handle that! You have no idea of what to expect, us veterans try to explain but it, our explanation is not easily understood. How do you tell an EV/Marine that they know nothing, they are infants, and should not go in with preconceived notions on what life is like, we can't, you would not believe us anyway, you have your romantic vision. I do not know how good an individual is at tolerating what they consider to be dumb bullshit repetitive things and that the SCH or CCH is stupid and living in the stone age.
i think you misunderstood my post. i never stated i thought it was easy, nor did i try to imply that. i was trying to say i thought the opposite actually.

everyone has expectations. nobody but the ones who actually experienced it will know how it really is. but then again, thats what places like this forum are for. to talk and discuss things, including expectations, different visions etc. or else they should just make this forum only for existing/ex legionnaires.
 

USMCRET

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#62
i think you misunderstood my post. i never stated i thought it was easy, nor did i try to imply that. i was trying to say i thought the opposite actually.

everyone has expectations. nobody but the ones who actually experienced it will know how it really is. but then again, thats what places like this forum are for. to talk and discuss things, including expectations, different visions etc. or else they should just make this forum only for existing/ex legionnaires.
You have a good grasp of it, not saying anything bad to you or misunderstanding, it is just hard for those whom have not served. Some actually think you are shooting guns everyday, blowing things up, and jumping out of airplanes when in realty there's cleaning to be done, maintenance, health and dental appointments, uniform and gear inspections. More than once have we all read the disillusioned post this sucks, my CCH is a moron....you fill in the blank.

You will be surprised at the free time Legionnaires and others have, some spend it in the Foyer, Sleep, become Loaners, and others pursue the local culture and activities they have to offer. Hell, I'd love to see some of the sights in France
 
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#63
(...) The idea of joining the regular French Army paratroopers after your time in the Legion is feasible, but you'll need to get French citizenship. And if you eventually get it, why not stay in the Legion ? You can keep serving in the Legion even after being naturalised. Going to a regular para regiment will not give you any significant additional experience, unless you join 1er RPIMa which is a special forces unit. Maybe that's what you had in mind.

Ok. I've edited the post where you mentioned your real name and deleted all others posts making reference to it. La grande lessive (the big laundry)...:D
Thanks mate. About the paras, actually ye the 1er RPIMa is what I have in mind but since it is a special forces unit wouldn't it anyways be recruiting from all over the French army including the Legion (people with French citizenship of course)?
 

Rapace

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#64
of course. i didnt mean get it done within the legion, i was just stating my surprise of being able to get it done (on free time/outside the legion) during service. just never pictured the legion being that "free". saw it more as a 24/7 5 year commitment. i can barely picture the idea of weekends off or nights off so let alone follow whole courses/education.
Okay. Well... Not sure to fully understand what you're saying, as they may be something lost in translation here, but forget the idea of being able to get a professional / airline pilot license during you ‘free time’ in the Legion. At best, you can hope having enough time to get a private pilot license on small single propeller planes (e.g. Cessna 152 or 172) if there's a flight school near where you'll be based, but that's it. It's a first step anyway towards a higher qualification and can give you valuable experience. But then, the training to become a professional pilot will be a full-time job.

Thanks mate. About the paras, actually ye the 1er RPIMa is what I have in mind but since it is a special forces unit wouldn't it anyways be recruiting from all over the French army including the Legion (people with French citizenship of course)?
The 1er RPIMa recruits from inside the French Army but also directly from civvy street but, for sure, only French citizens. So you'll need to obtain French citizenship while you are in the Legion, check with your hierarchy towards the end of your time with the Legion to see if/how you could apply for a transfer to this regiment. Ideal path would be for your first (of course) to be accepted in the Legion, then join 2e REP, and even better, manage to be selected among the GCP unit of the regiment. This will give you a ‘flavour’ of special operations and should make you a good candidate for the 1er RPIMa. Expect some tough competition to get in though. Anyway, next step: go to France and make the cut into the Legion... :)
 
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USMCRET

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#65
I had one of my Marines in the Platoon take helicopter flight lessons on the side. Near Camp Pendleton there is a small civil Airport. SSgt Drake took lessons in his time and he was quite pissed at me when he had to deploy to Iraq in 2004. In 2004 the Battalion separated into halves, Gold and Red, to split the 14-month deployment. Well Drake wrote me and asked if I would remove him from the deployment list because he was almost done with the Civilian Helicopter Course, not “no” but “hell no” I replied, duty comes first.

Then there was a Navy Corpsman (The Navy, Navy Corpsmen are our Medics, in-bedded in our Battalions, Platoons, and Squads) on a deployment with me at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1991. He did his time as a Corpsman and when he left the Navy he returned to University for nursing and years later I ran into him, now a Naval Officer, Lieutenant O-3.

Joseph, Rapace, and many more have laid it out for you and all. Sure, you can take what the Legion gives you and you or anyone with a desire, that is key, one has to have the desire, and succeed. Many find great employment, many start their own businesses, many become homeless, it is up to you.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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#69
(...) The 1er RPIMa recruits from inside the French Army but also directly from civvy street but, for sure, only French citizens. So you'll need to obtain French citizenship while you are in the Legion, check with your hierarchy towards the end of your time with the Legion to see if/how you could apply for a transfer to this regiment. Ideal path would be for your first (of course) to be accepted in the Legion, then join 2e REP, and even better, manage to be selected among the GCP unit of the regiment. This will give you a ‘flavour’ of special operations and should make you a good candidate for the 1er RPIMa. Expect some tough competition to get in though. Anyway, next step: go to France and make the cut into the Legion... :)
That reminds me of a time before I joined the Legion.
Careful I'm about to start rambling.
I've mentioned before that I joined the Brit army aged 16. I did 2 years apprenticeship in the ACC, army catering corps, to become an army chef. I was disillusioned with it all and asked to change regiments, paras or army commando.. To cut a long story short, it was no can do, but I could take one of the courses and get affected there. This is not obligatory to serve but it makes life easier if your have your wings up or your commando dagger patch. So I wrote out two applications, one for the paras and one for the commandos.

The commando came through first and off I went on the All Arms Commando Course. I passed and was waiting to get sent to my unit. It's like any other trade in the army you have to wait for a spot to become vacant in order to get posted. So while I'm waiting we get sent to Norway on another 4 month tour, my second one. The regiment I was with was part of the ACE mobile force, or Allied Command of Europe's mobile force. Basically the idea is if a country in NATO gets attacked each member country would send a detachment to hold off the enemy while the main force gets itself ready.

We had two RMs from the Mountain Arctic Warfare Cadre with us. These are Royal Marines who later do a 9 month course to learn about mountain climbing and the arctic. Supposedly one of the hardest courses in the Brit armed forces. They would teach us how to survive and how to soldier in the Arctic among other things. I had already done the training the year before so was not looking forward to going through it again. I mean who looks forward to jumping in a hole in the frozen lake with a rope around their waist?

So we've gone through the Arctic warfare training again and everyone passed (again). We had the visit of the the Brigadier commanding the SAS to see how his troops were getting on and to inspect the Brit detachment. His troops being G squadron if I remember rightly. What he wanted to do was start a recce group from the best skiers (ACE mobile force) to work along with G squadron.

One day while they were out training and I was back in the cookhouse the Brigadier and one of the Cpls from the the MLs (mountain leader RM - Arctic warfare cadre) who was attached to us strolled in to get a cup of tea. The breakfast was cleared away and the other two chefs were playing cards. So I made the two of them a pot of tea and hung around pretending to look busy. I mean it's not every day you get the Brigadier commanding the SAS and an ML dropping in for a cup of tea.

When I came back with the fastest pot of tea ever made, the ML was saying that he tried for the SBS but it was discovered that he was claustrophobic. Now don't get me wrong, when the SBS talks about claustrophobia, it's not about being in a small room. It means that when you are under the hull of a ship or sub which is lying on the sea bed, can you handle the idea of placing a mine knowing that if the tide should turn and the boat lists (leans over) you will be crushed.

I'm still pretending to look busy and thinking to myself this guy - the ML- has climbed the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis, to be qualified as a Mountain and Arctic warfare Cadre and here he is saying that he failed the SBS. The Brigadier nodding as though he'd already come across others and asks the Cpl why he didn't try for the SAS.
His response impressed the Brigadier commanding the Special Air Service and the Army Catering Corps chef (no longer trying to look busy).
“Because I don't want to leave the corps (Royal Marines) Sir.”
 
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Rapace

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#70
Mon Caporal, so true, one gets what one gives.
FYI, the form of address for a caporal (corporal) is simply “Caporal”. The “Mon” (short for Monsieur, Sir) is added only from he rank of Adjudant and above, Adjudant being more or less equivalent to 1SG in the US Army (mind the spelling, it's not like in English adjutant). So, an Adjudant will be addressed to as “Mon adjudant”, an adjudant-chef as “Mon adjudant-chef”, and so on.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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#71
And if I may be so bold, Mon being short for Monsieur it does not apply to ladies in the military or to Majors which are in a category of their own but are NOT officers. And also if there are any sardines on here the Adjudant and Adjudant-chef in the REC, and the rest of the French army's Cavalry are addressed as Mon lieutenant. I know why but perhaps someone else would like to explain why?
 
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#72
It was nous, le petit caporal, at the battle of Austerlitz, who gave this title to an Adjudant, for charging the enemy... All the officiers were dead
Mon Sir, le petit caporal
 

voltigeur

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#73
And if I may be so bold, being short for Monsieur it does not apply to ladies in the military or to Majors which are in a category of their own but are NOT officers. And also if there are any sardines on here the Adjudant and Adjudant-chef in the REC, and the rest of the French army's Cavalry are addressed as Mon lieutenant. I know why but perhaps someone else would like to explain why?
From what I remember, the rank for cavalry high ranking NCO's was awarded by Napoleon. I don't remember the historical details about that. Something to do with the courage displayed in battle.
 

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#75
And if I may be so bold, being short for Monsieur it does not apply to ladies in the military or to Majors which are in a category of their own but are NOT officers. (...)
Correct... Every rule has its exceptions. In the French Army the rank of Major is a bit special and not similar to the rank of Major in many Armies (officer rank between Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel). In the French military, Major is the highest NCO rank, above adjudant-chef. To become a Major an adjudant-chef must take (and of course pass) a specific exam. A Major is addressed to as “Major” (not ”Mon Major”). Female military personnel are simply called by their rank, so, for example, a female Captain will be simply addressed to as “Capitaine”.

(...) And also if there are any sardines on here the Adjudant and Adjudant-chef in the REC, and the rest of the French army's Cavalry are addressed as Mon lieutenant. I know why but perhaps someone else would like to explain why?
As for calling Lieutenant the Adjudants and Adjudants-chefs in the Cavalry, it's more a tradition than a statutory rule. But, please feel free to elaborate on this (even if Joe and le Petit Caporal have already partly spilt the beans), I wouldn't want to steal your thunder... :)
 
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#76
Okay, whilst on the subject of traditions, why do we have green and red épaulettes in the Legion? And do not believe all things you may see on google.
 
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#77
Green represents the battle field
Red represents the blood that flows
Peace time : the fanion, green on top and the red below. ..the Dead are burried
War time : the red on top and green below = blood will flow
 

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#78
(...) The Brigadier nodding as though he'd already come across others and asks the Cpl why he didn't try for the SAS.
His response impressed the Brigadier commanding the Special Air Service and the Army Catering Corps chef (no longer trying to look busy).
“Because I don't want to leave the corps (Royal Marines) Sir.”
Marines are Marines, Great Answer! Semper Fidelis

FYI, the form of address for a caporal (corporal) is simply “Caporal”. The “Mon” (short for Monsieur, Sir) is added only from he rank of Adjudant and above, Adjudant being more or less equivalent to 1SG in the US Army (mind the spelling, it's not like in English adjutant). So, an Adjudant will be addressed to as “Mon adjudant”, an adjudant-chef as “Mon adjudant-chef”, and so on.
I stand Corrected Rapace. I thought I read it as such, but admittedly I am not expert on the proper way to address certain legionnaires. Much the same when people whom are unfamiliar with the Marine Corps referred to me (Staff Non-commissioned Officers SSgts thru SgtMaj) as SERGEANT. To a Marine this is a great INSULT, I'd say excuse me, do you see this rocker on my Chevrons? I am a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and you will address me as such. The US Army allows this nonsense, everyone on the enlisted side is referred to as Private, Specialist, or Sergeant.

Correct... Every rule has its exceptions. In the French Army the rank of Major is a bit special and not similar to the rank of Major in many Armies (officer rank between Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel). In the French military, Major is the highest NCO rank, above adjudant-chef. To become a Major an adjudant-chef must take (and of course pass) a specific exam. A Major is addressed to as “Major” (not ”Mon Major”). (...)
The equivalent in the US Military is Sergeant's Major, or simply spoken Sergeant Major. Junior Sergeant's Major serve in the Battalion/Squadron Level, Mid-level serve at the Group/Wing/Division Level, Senior Sergeant's Major serve at the Marine Expeditionary Force level, they fill very senior billets such as the Sergeant's Major of the Recruiting Depots (Boot Camp), Marine Corps Recruiting Districts, and the ultimate Sergeant's Major is the Sergeant's Major of the Marine Corps, the senior most enlisted person in the Marine Corps. The other services have their top enlisted (Navy) Master Chief Petty of the Navy, (Army) Sergeant's Major of the Army, and the Air Force, well it's the Air Force, who cares?
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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#80
Okay, whilst on the subject of traditions, why do we have green and red épaulettes in the Legion? And do not believe all things you may see on google.
Don''t you mean the fanion de la Légion? For those who don't know what we are talking about, the fanion is the red and green pennant which are the Legion colors flown under the French tricolore flag. Its origins are said to be the Swiss colors from the 2e Legion circa 1835. And yes myth has it that during time of war the colors were inverted.
 

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