25. Chapter – Driving license in Castel and a field mission

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Vehicles of the french foreign legion ready for a field mission

I went down to Avignon and flew back home with the first flight from Geneva. To be able to fully enjoy my vacation I switched off my phone because I didn’t want to get a call from the regiment.

I shouldn’t have done that.

On Sunday when I got back to France I had 15 missed calls, 4 voice messages, 8 SMS from the platoon sergeant and the corporals of my unit.

That moment I should already have been back to Castel for my first individual training.

I couldn’t do so because all of my stuff were in St. Christol and I didn’t have time to go up, prepare my gear and make 350km in 6 hours. The corporal in my room was already looking forward to meeting me, but he was much more correct than I expected.

He told me that I’m going to get f*cked enough tomorrow, so he’ll just leave me do my things alone.

On Monday morning I discovered that I wasn’t alone in the same situation in my unit. Other legionnaires didn’t go to Castel either so after some jumping jacks and push-ups a guy took us down to Avignon.

We arrived to the 4th Foreign Regiment at the afternoon and we started the driving license the next day.

It was hyper boring and annoying at the same time to be in Castel as a 2nd class legionnaire.

I already had a license before I joined the Legion so I didn’t do anything just special mop and broom operations during two weeks.

Once you finished a driving license in Castel, in the next six months you have to complete a 250km drive in your regiment as confirmation. I did mine right after I arrived to St. Christol and it allowed me to participate with a team of 8 guys in a military engineer exercise.

This was my first real field mission in the French Foreign Legion.

I wasn’t a trainee anymore, I was making part of the crew and I was proud of it. My task was to drive the Jeep. We had 3 armoured vehicles as a companion, so we took almost the whole day to arrive to Courtine.

I almost had a day without any “banane”, but finally I ended up forgetting the gas cap opened after I filled our jeep.

Obviously the sergeant spot the mistake in 2 milliseconds.

In my head I was already waiting for a particularly difficult week. He started the car, but a bit further he stopped the vehicle when the commander of another platoon called him.

Before quitting the driver’s seat, he pulled the handbrake but not strong enough. The jeep started reversing with him on the uphill and with me on the passenger’s seat.

I don’t know how and why but I pulled on the brake by reflex and we avoided to look like an idiot before a whole company of the regular French units.

He didn’t say thank you, nor a word about my mistake…

3 Comments

  1. Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  2. Will every legionaire have to do a drivers license? And is this drivers license also valid for driving civil vehicles?

    • Hey,
      Not everyone, but as I’ve already had one in civil I could redo it pretty quickly. You can ask to convert your license into a civil one, but the procedure takes a couple of weeks, sometimes even months.

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