What's the reality?

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#1
I'm gona be blatant here. Everywhere I read the same thing. “Don't join, don't join, stay or run away!” The Legion is a lie... etc. etc. So what's the truth? If the Legion is so bad then why do men join it and stay in it? Why are there 7'500 guys in it right now? I serve in a military, one that can't be compared to the Legion but I've met my fair share of people who say the same things about this nation's armed forces. I myself have often said it sucks and told people not to join. But for me it's more about feeling unsatisfied with my service. I think most people who join go through a phase early on when they hate their lives and feel frustrated. But you get over it.
But I'm starting to think there is something not being seen with the Legion. Men come out of the Legion and say it was the biggest waste of time. Does the Legion only take Russian gangsters nowadays? Are most guys only in it for the money and the EU passport? 5 years of intense training is alot to pay for a passport. I mean yeah you clean a lot, iron shirts, do guard duty, march slow as shit. But isn't that why you join the Legion? For that experience, the life of a real soldier? There has to be something else going on.
Is it just that a lot of people who play too much COD are getting through and realizing soldiering is more than shooting guns and fast roping? Or is it that only certain groups can survive in the Legion, for reasons beyond discipline, attitude or motivation if you know what I mean?

Cheers guys.
 
#2
I'm gona be blatant here (...)
Did you mean blunt? Anyway, I'll be blunt (or blatant) too: there's no reality my friend... Or rather there are multiple realities. The Legion is essentially a personal journey and a personal experience. Looking for the reality is a pretty naive attitude... A bit like the little boy asking his father “what's behind the horizon line?”
 

G.I. Joe

Active Member
#3
(...) there's no reality my friend... Or rather there are multiple realities. (...)
“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.â€￾

I couldn't help it :D .... LOL - and I'm not even sorry
 

Hitsuji

Hyper Active Member
#4
Weird question. Anyone who joins has their own reasons. What do you expect people to tell you? Why do you even ask and could they know if the Legion is a lie or whatever ? And since you have 46 posts I'd expect you to read this forum because some of the things you ask have been answered gazilion of times ...

“People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That's how they define ‘reality’. But what does it mean to be ‘correct’ or ‘true’? Merely vague concepts… their ‘reality’ may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?â€￾
 
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Old Adj

Actual or Ex Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#5
What's the reality? The reality is that it's like life, there are ups and downs. Good things to do and not so good things to do. Yes, there is cleaning to do. Yes, there is guard duty, scrubbing floors, cleaning pots and pans, ironing, marching to do. No it is not like a video game. No you're not always shooting or in the field learning how. In the beginning you don't get paid much. Just like in any Army. What else would you like to know?
 

Jefferson'86

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#6
I actually applaud the OP on this, as it is a very astute and not entirely subjective question. He asks relevent and perhaps painful questions about the engagés gamelle and paper seekers who have been allowed in in the recent past.

I have worn red bennies, green beenies in two armies, and a képi blanc. I have tabs, and wings and badges enough from them all, to look like a Mexican general at a whore's wedding.

Each time I made a qualification and got a new badge or bell or whistle or hat to wear, I didn't think more of me, I thought less of the guys who already had the qualification. There are no supermen.

But I come to find now, that people who did not seek a military life bore the fvck out of me.

If you are looking for redemption or an instant change from Walt to Rambo, then try a surplus store or a good whisky. There are shitheads and losers in every army and the Legion is no different.

If you join, you will have to wade through at selection, all those Russian drug addicts and African engagés gamelle in order to get in. Then, if you do, it may just come to one day that one of those upfvcks actually saves your arse, be it in a Marseille bar or a west African road block.

Now wouldn't that be funny..?
 
#7
Each time I made a qualification and got a new badge or bell or whistle or hat to wear, I didn't think more of me, I thought less of the guys who already had the qualification. There are no supermen.
This.

It seems allot of folks delusions of the military are predicated on that "mysterious" superman
 

Edgar

Actual or Ex Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#8
Those of us who have served went in for reasons unique to ourselves and got a result that was just as individual. That being said I had 3 years in the Canadian Navy and was in training for Clearance Diver when I decided that I simply wanted ‘more’. I got more with the Legion and I also got moments that were boring as bat shit. That being said of the 2 Forces I will never regret my Legion time or the overall experience. I got all I wanted from it and after 5 years went on to a variety of security related occupations.
The Legion made me a promise at Fort Nogent, I was told I would be used but not wasted and la Légion kept their word, not at all like the Politicos in other western countries and I include Canada in that.
 

flash010

Top Member
Legionnaire
#10
Mate,
Take 10 legionnaires, ask the same question and you will get ten different replies. It's your own voyage not the same for every one.
 

jonny

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#11
All well said, but don't forget the epoque either. I served in Algeria in the 1950's, my experience of the Legion is very different from those who served in Morocco in the 1930s or in Indochina or the world wars, etc., or more recently in Iraq or Afganistan, or doing stuff all in long periods between action stations. Many things about the Legion never changes, though, and that's what many of us love about our time serving under the old tricolor. As for myself, I know I would do it again anytime, given half the chance of meeting someone who can design me a time machine, that is.
So where is Mr Dyson when you need him?
 
#12
I'll echo some of what others have said here and say my reality is not your reality, what the Legion means to me, and what is stands to offer is by no means universal. For instance, I couldn't care less about the pay, but the next guy might not feel that way. The Legion, for me, is an idea I have played with for years and my life has finally come together in such a way that makes joining a reality, pun intended.
No, I don't play video games, no I am not some Rambo wannabe, no I am not a gangster or drug addict - but I do want to eventually become a French citizen because I believe in my heart the ideals of that country and love its language, its history and its people. I love France, and I want to be French not because I'm from a poor country or family or because I wanna leech the medical system, but simply because I love that damn country and I wanna be where I love. When I die, I want to "rest in French soil." It is my deepest dream. If this makes me a traitor to the US then fine, guilty. Hopefully I go to the Legion and never have to return here again. Hell, I don't care if I learn French so well I lose English and never speak it again. I knowingly will do, as so many documentaries put it, "France's Dirty Work" and I will do it happily.
See, I am not joining just to kill people or to be killed, as if it's some sort of game or joke, but I do realize both of those prospects, that is killing or my death, are both very real possibilities. The reality of the Legion is, again for me, being part of a brotherhood in a unit that is a part of a military for a country that I feel in my heart I should have been born in.
Me? I say "JOIN, JOIN, JOIN. RUN TO FRANCE! ENLIST! JOIN THE FFL!!!" These people give you the opportunity of a new life so long as you're not some off the wall wack-job, and for that they deserve the utmost respect. Yes, they give young (and not so young men) the chance at redemption when their families and their mother land has turned their back on them. Reality? That's what the reality is for me.
 

Stormbringer

Super Active Member
#13
Copperpot mate,
I've been reading all your posts with growing worries. I don't want to be rude or offensive, because it's your life and you do as you feel and decide to do, it won't affect me. It's good to be determined, it's not good to be extreme in anything, even determination.
At your age, you are experienced enough to know right and wrong. Me thinks, you are quite romantic and devouted to a pro-French emotion, probably as I am to a pro-British one. You have a very romantic vision of the Legion and I'm saying this because I've read most of the threads here. This extreme perception could be a problem, confronted with reality.
Secondly, family matters could be extremely complicated. You have a family and kids, but you are looking for another family. You don't want to cope with the family you know and are used to, but think you can accomodate to a completely new family. And the kids, that's the part that I cannot realise at all.
Again, it's your life, do as you want, I don't intend to judge you, I simply don't understand, but I don't demand any explanation. Wish you good luck and balancing the pros and cons. Cheers!
 
#14
Mon cher Copperpot,
Je crois que vous êtes alors dans un rêve utopique. Eh bien, bonne chance, et je vous souhaite bon courage.

Chas 'old fart' who would do it all again.
 
#15
Copperpot mate,
I've been reading all your posts with growing worries. I don't want to be rude or offensive, because it's your life and you do as you feel and decide to do, it won't affect me. It's good to be determined, it's not good to be extreme in anything, even determination.
At your age, you are experienced enough to know right and wrong. Me thinks, you are quite romantic and devouted to a pro-French emotion, probably as I am to a pro-British one. You have a very romantic vision of the Legion and I'm saying this because I've read most of the threads here. This extreme perception could be a problem, confronted with reality.
Secondly, family matters could be extremely complicated. You have a family and kids, but you are looking for another family. You don't want to cope with the family you know and are used to, but think you can accomodate to a completely new family. And the kids, that's the part that I cannot realise at all.
Again, it's your life, do as you want, I don't intend to judge you, I simply don't understand, but I don't demand any explanation. Wish you good luck and balancing the pros and cons. Cheers!
You're not being rude of offensive one bit. You concern is valid and it seems to come from the heat with concern and compassion. If anything you are kind for helping me and others who read what you have written. What I do here, Stormbringer, comes after careful and deep reflection and long periods of consideration. I am not working my butt off in the gym, eating right and staying up at ungodly hours learning French on a whim or because of some idealized view of the world outside my door. The view I have of the Legion and of France is not simply a romantic one, but I do see how I come off that way with my writing. I know full well that there will be suffering for me in the Legion and in France, but I am prepared to deal with that type of suffering, whatever form it may take, in exchange for this. I am full aware it is a risk in that I may be jumping from the pan into the fire, but that is a risk I am prepared to take. With respect to suffering that I will endure, this is a type of self-mortification that I am partaking in; with respect to risk it's a sort of Russian Roulette. No, the Legion will push me to the Limits physically and emotionally - it will probably almost break me, but in knowing this I will pull through and emerge stronger than I ever though I could be. And as for France itself, there is trash on the streets of Paris, too. There are dickheads and racists in France as well - but it is a step up from where I currently am and I am happy with that. I don't for a second think there is some far away magical kingdom called France where the wine flows like water and the women throw themselves at me. France, like anywhere on this planet, will be a struggle. I'd just rather struggle in France and with French people than with Americans.

Furthermore, one reason, and it's just one of many, that I want to join the Legion, guys, is what so many others say: Adventure. I dropped out of college with a mere 4 credits left to go on a degree because I fear this plastic life of 9-5 coming and going, mortgage, car note, fake neighbors and being stuck in daily traffic as I sip Starbucks. I literally fear it more than death. I fear it more than death because death is certain, but such a boring and mundane existence is not. I refuse to live like that. I also refuse to live beholden to some woman who calling a cvnt is a compliment. She is vile and disgusting beyond what most men have ever experienced. I have given my story to other men who have had bad wives and failed relationships, I have given them my story with as much objectivity as possible sometimes even making myself seem worse, and even these men have told me how my situation is especially horrible. I have been comforted by men who thought their relationships were bad until they heard my story and were essentially like "holy shit, you got it bad!" Guys, I explained my problems to a doctor, a doctor who hears this sort of thing all day, and even he said, word-for-word, "Damn I am sorry man, this is a lot. I'll have to get back to you tomorrow." Indeed, those were the actual words from the doctor's mouth, and the scary part is he was one of the best psychiatrists in the Washington DC area. I have been through effing hell, guys. This region, these people, this culture, this very nation is full of pain and painful memories. I have always been drawn to France as if it's a calling, and I have always promised my mother I would be a Legionnaire (my mother loved military stuff).

Now, I do care for my family, just not my, how do you say, married family. I care deeply for my father and my sisters. For instance, my father just went through surgery and I thought he would have needed a kidney. I told him that I would have no problem giving him mine if it was a match. Of course him being so humble he said he would never, but I would. I would die for my family, my sisters too - and I wish I was in a grave instead of my beloved mother. I just don't care for my "wife" and kids, one who is ~3 and the other who is a few months old. I literally have better things to worry about and that woman and anything from her body can be gone from my life forever. I chalk it up to a loss. It's a heavy loss, but life is loss and I accept the loss of my children. I walk away from that suffering into a different sort of suffering that I have more of a chance of turning into joy, into a sense of self-accomplishment, and by God I will. I am content with this.

Mon cher Copperpot,
Je crois que vous êtes alors dans un rêve utopique. Eh bien, bonne chance, et je vous souhaite bon courage.

Chas 'old fart' who would do it all again.
Thank You, but I don't believe in utopian dreams, or luck for that matter. Again, I don't believe France or the Legion is some magical fairytale, but I do believe that the Legion has opened its arms and given thousands of men a fresh start in life, a new opportunity, and for that its deserving of the respect from me. One thing I have heard many say about the Legion is, “how could you respect the Legion or France? You are a foreigner and are therefore nothing but cannon fodder.â€￾ I am cannon fodder, I recognize this, and I am happy with it. Quid-pro-quo, I say.

Oh no, Chas, this is no utopian dream. I have researched, meditated deeply, and joined even Cervens to learn as much about the Legion as possible. This all, again, comes after careful and deep reflection and consideration of the pros and cons over a long period of time. Utopia, on a level, does not exist. Not in the US, not in Britain, not in Nigeria, Japan, China, or France; not in the Russian military, the Romanian military or the French Foreign Legion - but the chance of a new start, or someone, an organization extending their hand and giving me a chance that so many others did not - and it is a French organization called the Foreign Legion. So to that I will cast myself; my loyalty and my love.
 

jonny

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#16
huh.CrEe ZesT :D
Copperpot,
To me it sounds like you have not got much to lose. If you really want to find out whether or not the Legion is your salvation, then cut loose, burn your ships and buy a ticket to France. If the Legion says thanks for your interest, but no thanks, then perhaps you can get a job as a waiter in a Parisian bistro instead. In any case you will have to go there to find out.
 
#17
Copperpot,
Now you have gone through the cathartic process of purging yourself on open forum there can only be one response. “Simply go for it - Carpe Diem.â€￾
Nuff said.
 

Old Adj

Actual or Ex Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#18
Now that you've successfully stolen SBG800's thread, Copperpot, you'd better work out a plan B. What happens if la Légion doesn't accept you?
 

CanadianFFL

Super Active Member
#19
(...)
Furthermore, one reason, and it's just one of many, that I want to join the Legion, guys, is what so many others say: Adventure. I dropped out of college with a mere 4 credits left to go on a degree because I fear this plastic life of 9-5 coming and going, mortgage, car note, fake neighbors and being stuck in daily traffic as I sip Starbucks. I literally fear it more than death. (...)
I have not been following your posts so I don't know your back story, all I read was a few posts on this thread. But I do identify with this reason you posted above. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes which expresses the feeling perfectly:

“Yes, and I could live on, like a battery hen in one of these futile cities. Filing futile forms, paying futile taxes to enable futile politicians and state managers to fritter it away on electorally useful white elephants. I could earn a futile salary in a futile office and commute futilely on a train, morning and evening, until a futile retirement. I prefer to do it my, live my way and die my way."
 
#20
huh.CrEe ZesT :D
Copperpot,
To me it sounds like you have not got much to lose. If you really want to find out whether or not the Legion is your salvation, then cut loose, burn your ships and buy a ticket to France. If the Legion says thanks for your interest, but no thanks, then perhaps you can get a job as a waiter in a Parisian bistro instead. In any case you will have to go there to find out.
This is pretty much the plan. It's funny you mention that, really. If the Legion did not accept me I was fully planning on being a dishwasher or construction worker somewhere in France. I hear there is a big American expat community in Paris that will help get one set up. Yeah, my ships are already burned and resting on the harbor floor. Again, I have always wanted the Legion, but now the gears of my life have meshed in such a way that makes joining practical.

Copperpot,
Now you have gone through the cathartic process of purging yourself on open forum there can only be one response. “Simply go for it - Carpe Diem.â€￾
Nuff said.
Thank You for that. Yeah, I am new here, but I have lurked for some time and have a respect for this community and feel comfortable, how do you say, being real. Now, as far as “cathartically purging myselfâ€￾, I am not. I have not dumped my real emotions out here, I just write the way I write, and for that I offer my apologies. Make no mistake, I am very serious about the Legion, however.

Now that you've successfully stolen SBG800's thread, Copperpot, you'd better work out a plan B. What happens if la Légion doesn't accept you?
If that is indeed the case, I can say I had no intent to steal his thread and I offer my apologies to him. I actually feel as if I am adding to it. See, my reality, the reality that is a “cathartic process of purgingâ€￾ as Chas puts it, is the reality that leads me, and only me, to the Legion. What leads the next 10 guys will be 10 different stories. There is no universal reality that leads one to the Legion. The Legion is surrounded in myth and legend and the ‘don't join, don't go’ concept is largely based on ignorance. For the guys that come out of the Legion saying it is a waste of time there are many who were saved by the Legion. For me, in my cushy American abode, the Legion is extending a hand and giving me a chance where others are turning their back. That is a reality for me, all of what I said is my reality, and many will, rightly, disagree because - again - my reality ain't universal. All I did was express my reality. I don't feel as if I stole his thread.
 
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