The training of legionnaires (soldiers of the French Foreign Legion) is long and grueling by modern standards, with the French Foreign Legion capable of using techniques and levels of violence far beyond those acceptable in the metropolitan army .
Of those who pass the initial two-week testing phase, around a third are accepted into the French Foreign Legion as "volunteer volunteers".
This means that you start as a recruit and are then sent to basic training. The candidate must pass the common 16-week course at one of the four training depots. The 16 week training course is similar to most training courses in similar units, but has a much higher pace and demands. During this period, physical fitness is honed and basic military skills are taught.
However, during this period, the candidate is indoctrinated in the traditions of the French Foreign Legion. This means that the candidate must learn the history of the French Foreign Legion, pass the Marche pour le Kepi Blanc and learn their songs.
After successfully passing the basic training, the candidate receives a White Kepi and is considered a legionnaire. His training has only just begun, because the candidate is then sent for further training in the desired specialty.
After passing the basic training, the legionnaire obtained his White Kepi, but he must then undergo additional training in his specialty.
For paratroopers, this means a stay at one of the commando training centers dotted around France, where, alongside other metropolitan and marine paratroopers, they learn the additional skills that set them apart from more ordinary units. At the end of this six-week course, they then undertake the "relaxing" skydiving course and earn their skydiver wings.
Once this standard course has been successfully completed, the soldier goes to a TIS training center. There, the soldier is trained for an additional 6 weeks in operations alongside the MSIF, and specializes in interface operations.
However, soldiers are also trained in the basic skills of space operations, as well as different atmospheric and gravity conditions.
This course has at times been described as too basic compared to the British Royal Marines' one-year "Red Commando" course, but this fails to take into account the different roles of the two units. A significant part of the MR's tasks as ship troops is carried out by the FUVOLMARS of the MSIF proper.
The newly qualified legionnaire paratrooper is then sent to his new unit, almost always one of the 2e REP maintenance battalions, where his training continues. Although most of them are immensely proud of what they have accomplished so far, battalions will continue to test them until their new comrades are satisfied enough to let the soldier join their battalion wholeheartedly. First line.
As with most units, training is constant, and as part of an Intervention Brigade it is normally much more interesting than most units and therefore REPs have a very good re-enlistment rate.
Soldiers from the 1e REP who want to move to the 2e REP must first pass a difficult selection. In recent years, it has taken place for two months abroad. Here, the days and nights of almost a fortnight, combined with the steep terrain and dangerous wildlife, put the legionary paratrooper to the test.
The selection course mainly combines exhausting physical tasks and stimulating mental tasks. If successful, the two streams, that of the special forces and that of the combat walkers, are separated and undertake six-month training, before joining the service battalion.
But being part of the 2nd REP is something special. You'll spend your time jumping out of planes, and learning what true brotherhood is.