Medical tests in the French Foreign Legion

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Medical Tests in the French Foreign Legion

In this article, you’ll find all the relevant information you have to know about the medical tests in the French Foreign Legion. The medical tests are part of the pre-selection process that everyone has to pass who wants to join the French Foreign Legion.

Before you pass to the main part of this article, note that nobody can answer your personal medical questions, but a military doctor. Even if you send an e-mail to a recruiter of the French Foreign Legion, he won’t be able to give you an exact answer. If I were in his place, I wouldn’t even take the responsibility to give you a different answer than this:

  • I’m sorry, but only a military doctor will be able to answer this question after the medical examinations.

So, you can pop up the next question. – Okay, but what can you tell me in this case about the medical tests.

I can summarize all the available data and share everything I saw during the 8 years I passed as a Legionnaire. I hope that my personal experience and all this description are going to give you a better idea about the medical requirement of the French Foreign Legion.

Medical tests in the French Foreign Legion

Throughout the pre-selection process, you’ll pass several medical examinations. You’ll do your “welcome to the FFL pull-ups” and the following days a doctor will examine you. This happens in Paris or Aubagne before you sign your contract.

He’ll look for serious problems such as:

  • cancer 
  • missing fingers
  • any signs of heavy drug addiction
  • blood, protein or glucose in your pee
  • or any other visible medical problems

I’ve already wrote about an awkward experience, when a doctor had to check if I have testicular cancer. This was in Fort de Nogent, where my adventure begun. During the same medial check, the doctor will establish a general health assessment. This medical profile formula, called SYGICOP, will determinate your general aptitude. 

What is SIGYCOP?

The SIGYCOP is a medical profile, determining the medical aptitude of a candidate willing to join the French Army (or the French Foreign Legion in our case). After a medical visit, the military doctor gives a score of 1 to 6 (except P: from 0 to 5) to each of the seven components of the SIGYCOP. The seven number together will represent your medical profile. Depending on this result, you’ll be declared fit or not fit for service. The required score varying according to the units and specialty you want to choose.

The letters in SIGYCOP

LetterScore Concerned area
S1 to 6Scapular belt and upper limbs
I1 to 6Pelvic girdle and lower limbs
G*1 to 6General condition
Y1 to 6Eyes and vision (chromatic sense excluded)
C1 to 5Chromatic sense
O1 to 6Ears and hearing
P0 to 5Psychism

G*: The assessment of the general condition isn’t limited to general physical robustness. The doctor will check your body mass index (BMI), heart, lung, teeth and make you a pee test. He has to be sure, that your urine doesn’t contain more protein, blood or glucose than the normal level. Any affection, evolving or not, can also influence the coefficient attributed to G when it affects the organism. An example: if you have a poor sight and you got Y5, your G score won’t be 1.

The minimum score to join the French Foreign Legion


Note the following things:

  • Your teeth have to be in good condition. You shouldn’t leave to France with tooth decay
  • The “P” will be reexamined at the end of the basic training. It has to be “1” to be able to continue your career after the probation period
  • You have to be apt for OPEX and overseas missions
  • Representing any contradiction to necessary vaccinations makes you definitively inapt for service

A few diseases making you definitively inapt:

The following specialties require specific medical aptitudes

Specialty/FunctionS I G Y C O P
Armored vehicle pilot3 2 3 3 3 3 1
Infantryman2 2 2 5 4 3 1
Combat swimmer/diver*1 1 1 2 2 2 1
Paratroopers (2°REP)*2 1 2 3 3 2 1
Mountain troops (2°REG)*2 2 2 4 4 2 1

Wearing contact lenses are prohibited in 2°REP and 2°REG. If you want to join 2°REG, your body mass index (BMI) has to be under 26 and your height between 1,60m – 1,96m.

The paratrooper aptitude

Those who want to join 2°REP after the basic training must be able to withstand the physical and environmental constraints directly linked to the jump and complete a specific physical requirement like the “TAP test”. 

The morphological profile must meet the following criteria:

  • A height less than 1,60 m or more than 2,05 m isn’t compatible with the practice of military parachuting
  • For a height between 1,60 m and 1,95 m, your weight must be between 55 kg and 90 kg
  • For a height between 1,95 m and 2,05 m, the body mass can fluctuate up to 105 kg

On an initial visit, the BMI can reach 27 if someone is particularly muscular.

The spine check

A radio-clinical examination will determine your aptitude for military parachuting. The radiographic examination of the spine includes:

  • a front telerachis;
  • the three spinal segments (cervical, dorsal, lumbar) in profile

You’ll got these photographs at the end of the basic training. I found them when I was emptying my locker a few months ago. The clinical examination of your spine includes:

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  • a rigorous control in search of a painful vertebral past with or without current event
  • a careful clinical examination of the spine (static and dynamic examination and palpation of everything the spinal axis)
  • an appreciation of the abdominal and vertebral muscles

Note that if you had a refractive eye surgery in the past six months before the determination of your aptitude will cause a temporarily inaptitude. If you had this type of eye surgery before your 21st birthday, it means that you can’t become a paratrooper. (Source: INSTRUCTION N° 700/DEF/DCSSA/PC/MA page 13-14)

What can you do to avoid medical inaptitude?

If you’re living a normal healthy life, joining the French Foreign Legion isn’t going to be a problem. As you saw the SIGYCOP description, you don’t have to be perfect. If you have glasses or you have a scar on your right leg because your neighbor’s dog bate you, that’s not a problem.

Don’t take drugs and drink too much alcohol and everything will be fine. For those who are practicing sport at a higher level have to make a particular attention on the quantity of protein they eat. If the level of protein in your urine is higher than the normal, you’ll be declared as temporarily inapt for service. You won’t be able to go back until a civilian doctor didn’t check if everything is okay with your kidney or not. 

I hope you found helpful this article and if you have any intelligent question, don’t hesitate to ask under the post. If I find something new about the medical tests, I’ll update this post so keep coming back and read the comments. 

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Bulletin Officiel des Armées PDF FILE

French Army recruitment instructions 


  1. Very useful all the information, my friend, i have a question, if I had to have eye surgery, do I have to carry a certificate?/ Thank u

    • I have two screws in my ankle from over 10 years ago. I’ve been training BJJ for nearly 10 years, competitive lifting, and played Rugby for a long time. Would the screws disqualify me?

    • Herbal Remedy..

      that cured me from Hsv.

      Angela Anderson, Haines City, FL

    • hello, i don’t have 2 of my back teeth, will this prevent me from joining the legion?

  2. hi I wanted to ask you about things. 1. the combat swimmer in which regiments are located? 2. if I select a regiment like the 2rep and I don’t have the requisites to enter, do they send me home or do they make me choose another regiment? 3. If I visit with contact lenses at the visits, will I have problems?

    • Hey,
      1. 2reg 1reg and 2rep have combat swimmers
      2. They make you choose another regiment
      3. I don’t know how it goes for contact lenses, but I think they’ll ask you to pass the examen without.

  3. Good Evening,

    Love the posts incredibly helpful ! Great insight into the ffl

    I realise you can’t give a definitive answer from a medical point of view just speculate, but I had c6/7 surgery were they put a plate in my vertebrae i have no ongoing condition it was 9 years ago im now 28 completely fit and healthy, would this in your opinion disqualify me from attempting to join the ffl . I had my eyes on 2 rep looking to join from UK by end of July.

    With Regards

    • Helo Ernest,

      Unfortunately I can’t give you a straight answer for your question. I think that if you are healthy and in a good shape, you can give a try and the military doctor will decide what kind of jobs you’ll be able to do after.

    • I take medication for seizures I’ve had in the past.. Would this disqualify me? Would I be able to continue taking the medication? I’m 29, very active. In the gym two hours a day, but I’ve taken this medication for 7 years. Its been over 4 years since I’ve had a seizure.

  4. Hi
    I have 2 missing teeth and some decaying but front line is okay. Does this mean I won’t qualify to be in the FFL? What are the requirements other than the €3000.

  5. Hi mate,

    I posted a question before in regards to having metal plates in my ankles and I appreciate that’s not something you would be able to answer, so thank you for sharing anyway.

    I do still have one question. How thorough was your medical examination when joining?

    Thanks again

    • Hey,

      The medical test isn’t something very mysterious thing. If you are healthy, you don’t take drugs and you are in a good shape, you won’t have any problem. I’ve always got 1 everywhere during my service.

    • Sir
      I am from Nepal . I want to join FFL . But I have TB scar in my lungs . That i have tearted 10 years ago and I got 4 fault in my teeth . Can i join FFL sir!

  6. i have scars on my face from a couple of fighs and and my arms have hand signs from work
    is that a problem?

  7. Hello. I wanted to know if the doctor makes a x-ray on your teeth in the first medical test in PILE and in Aubagne? Thank you.

    • Hey, no not in the pile that’s sure. If I remember well, they’ll do the x-ray of your spine and teeth once you are got in.

  8. Aron, I apologize if you basically answered this question already: I factored my BMI and it calculated to 29.2. However I am not “fat” but am considered “overweight” by BMI chart. I can do at least 12-15 pull ups, at least 50 push-ups without stop, and I can run a descent mile ( I live in the US and these are typical measures). Im trying to figure if I should put significant emphasis on losing weight before showing up to France. Thanks again.

    • Hey, as I said I’m not a doctor, but for me 29.2 is too much. If I were you I’d try to go under 26 at least.
      In my case, I try to keep myself between 23-24 with as little fat as possible.

  9. I have six extracted for dental bracing to straighten and align teeth. Am i eligible to join french foreign legion.

  10. Thank you Aron for that information. The BMI chart ONLY factored height and weight so I don’t know if that 29.2 is accurate. Do you recall if the doctors do a tape test to find out how much fat one actually has?

  11. I had cold sore blister on my lips(comes and goes)…doc says its HSV 1( harpes simplex virus) can i pass medical test of ffl?

  12. I have old scar of wounds at my knee (from fall down)…but it dosent bothering me to do exercise….it is acceptable?

  13. I have seen reference to different heights but not seen anything above 2.05 meters written. Is there a maximum height to join or just for specific things like driving and parachuting etc. that you outlined. anyways i’m about 2.1 meters and am expected to continue to grow to over 2.15 meters and I wonder if people my height are even allowed to try to become legionnaires.

  14. Excuse me
    Does haemorrhoids also disqualified in medical test and how about teeth which has been replaced by dentist and used artificial. does it also make disqualified

    • Dont worry about hemmoroids …eat salad…take fiber(oats) ..alaot water..and go toilet early for few minutes…and exercise daily you will be fine.
      Decay teeth can be disqualified may be

  15. 1 teech decay near wisdom teeth and treated with RCT and teeth crown with one support…can i pass dental test ??

  16. Very helpful so I want to say thank you for this comprehensive article. And I would be really happy if I see your opinion about the following case: recently I figured out that I have one heart condition called aortic regurgitation/insufficiency. It means that my aortic valves do not close completely/all the way. It is in really early/weak stage and doesn’t influence my physical performance at all. I do 20+ clear pull ups, about 80 push ups, I run 1 km in 3:08 and 3 km in 11:45. And my HR is perfect – about 55 when resting. In this case do you think I will be disqualified if I try to join the Legion?

    • Hey, Aron. Can you please tell me about the medical tests done in the FFL recruitment process? Do they conduct an X-ray test? I’m pretty sure they will conduct an ECG test though. However, my ECG test was abit not good but when I did an echo test, they said my heart is in good shape. Do they also do an echo test if our ECG test results isn’t good?

  17. I have dislocated my elbow 1year ago and now i am fine there is no pain is this a problem for joining legion

  18. Hello, i know you probably can’t give a definite answer on this. But if you have herniated discs found on radiological exam for REP is that automatic disqualification from that regiment? Or is it case by case?

  19. I get a cold sore any time I eat foods that are acidic. I use lysine to prevent and cure. If I do get the blister I use apple cider vinegar to dry it up faster. Thanks for the added advice!

  20. en el caso de mi que me dio hepatitis pero hace mucho tiempo , me he hechos las pruebas correspondientes , y me ha salido negativo , eso es impedimento medico de una pra presentar?

  21. Thank you for your articles, it is very informative for my preparations. I have couple questions.
    1. I have flat feet but currently working to fix it by running with minimalist shoes but if I cannot is it a disqualification?
    2. I also have Hyperhidrosis which means very sweaty hands and feet, very as in dripping with sweat unfortunately I cannot fix that

    Again thank you for your articles and hopefully positive reply from you

    • Your P score will be given at the end of your first year. You’ll get 1 if you are totally normal and 2-5 if there is a problem with your personality. Alcoholism, drug problems etc. Higher the score is, more chance you’ll have that you can’t carry a gun and can’t continue in the army

  22. Hey, Aron. Can you please tell me about the medical tests done in the FFL recruitment process? Do they conduct an X-ray test? I’m pretty sure they will conduct an ECG test though. However, my ECG test was abit not good but when I did an echo test, they said my heart is in good shape. Do they also do an echo test if our ECG test results isn’t good?

  23. Good nigth,
    I wonder if a high blood pressure is enough to disqualify and not enter the ffl. Like a start of hypertension. Or they dont look at that?

  24. Another question,
    They check your teeth that do not have cavities, but if they are crooked, do you need to use brakets first before joining?

  25. Another question,
    They check your teeth that do not have cavities, but if they are crooked, do you need to use brakets first before joining?

  26. Do you know if they will care about a minor problem with mallet finger? I treated when I was a kid (without surgery) but aesthetically is not ok. I’m be able to close my hands and fingers without problem (considering that I’m a boxer for almost 10 years). Do you think that is a good idea to tell this problem or should I avoid to tell them?

  27. When can I join the French Foreign Legion after Lasek?
    Does the French Foreign Legion 2reg gcm also have a spinal test?

  28. I know the answer to this, but is worth the question, am athlete but I suffer of high blood pressure and need to take medications, I know this is a no, but a little hope does not hurt 🙂

  29. Hi, very interested in joing the legion my only issue is that I was born without my left chest muscle (pectoral). It has not physically effect on me and I exercise and workout 6 times a week. Could this be an issue if the medical exam?

  30. Hello, I had an operation 8 years ago. I had my appendix removed so now I have a scar on my stomach. I am 19 and at great physical shape but I am afraid that I wont be able to join because of my scar. It is not a big operation but I’m still concerned. Are they going to let me in with my appendix removed?

  31. Sir could I get some information that when I was young on the age of six I had done hernia surgery so could I join the ffl army
    Now I have no any side effects too
    Plz remaind me sir

  32. Hello,
    I would like to know if, after the first medical check up, in the legion they do periodic blood tests?
    Thank you so much

    • They do but it’s not periodic. You won’t pass blood screening just for fun. If someone sends you for an exam it’s for a reason

  33. I cant find reliable hearing requirements for the legion? What is the minimum hearing requirements?

  34. What if my BMI is 31.3 but I’m not fat and I have muscles. I’m healthy, workout, and in top physical shape. Will I be rendered inapt for service?

  35. I have a operation of my childhood.i don’t know anything about this operation . now nothing Problem of this operation . Legion will accept ?

  36. I have a question, I have an optic nerve issue in my left eye, would that disqualify me from joining?

  37. hey ? I have one question ?
    i got lymph nodes tuberclosis on my neck in my childhood but totallly fine and cured now !
    do they still allow me for French Foreign Legion?
    I am fully cured right now?

  38. Hello i am 20-23 and i am joining the legion as soon as travel restrictions are eased but i worry that i will fail the medical assessment due to mild frequency hearing loss (high frequencies) caused by an explosion as well as shooting when i was younger. Do you know what the minimum hearing requirements are and if this will be a problem? It doesn’t effect me and i can hear commands and operate effectively and efficiently without any problems, thank you.

  39. Hello Aron,
    Thank you for the blog. I was wanting to ask you if glasses (-4.0) and crooked teeth will disqualify me from joining the legion.

  40. Would by any chance know if you can join the french foreign legion with Autism? Also, would that limit me from certain career fields because my ultimate goal is to be a french foreign legionnaire in the 2 REP.

    • You can, but you can’t keep it with you during the selection process nor the basic training.

  41. I was 4 months in the legion but because I went through a surgery in back I ask to go civil but my back problem is getting better.
    My question is if I bring a document from a doctor that confirm that I okay I can go back to the legion?

  42. Hey im from Sweden a modern western country in other words, will they force ya to take TB vaccines and or other vaccines?

  43. Hey, thanks for your detailed information.
    I’ve high blood pressure (hereditary: both of my parents have high bp) but it hasn’t been any problem in my daily life till now. So should i worry about it and take any sort of medication. And if i took a medication will it be shown in urinal test? I’ve a time like 2 yrs before visiting france. Thank you

  44. Hey I have one question I have missing my pinky finger in right leg when I’m 3 year old does it acceptable or not

  45. Hi! I have one question whether a shoemaker’s chest excludes my possibility of joining the Legion? I would like to emphasize that I am tall, the chest is very well developed (I exercise a lot and have been training sports since I was a child), I have no problems in terms of endurance and I have never had any. There is only an aesthetic effect. Thanks for the help

  46. I am going to Aubagne soon but have a medical question that I hope someone can possibly help me with.

    A long time ago, in 2008, I suffered an A/C separation in judo. It did not require surgery and is fully healed, but as a result, there is a tiny bump on top of my shoulder that will always be there. I doubt that this will be a disqualifier, as I think surgery would make it so. I do not want to lie about this during my medicals, as I think it will be obvious to anyone with a small amount of medical training that there was an old injury to the joint.

    Has anyone had experience with this at Aubagne? I’m looking to see what realistic issues might come up at medical as a result of this.

  47. I have surgery of appendix 4 years ago and my right ear upper part has been cut small part is there problem to join french army

  48. Is Hyper extension/ carrying angel of hand disqualify candidate from french foreign legion

  49. Hii Aron I am from South Africa Playing Rugby but my heart is not there! I always wanted to join the FFL but never got the opportunity , very athletic easily doing 15-25 pull ups, 3km run under 8-9 minutes 85-100 push ups but my blood preasure is 145/92 BMI =23 no bone breakages or dislocations but have a few fillings in teeth but NO decaying one’s due to sorted already at the dentist and the dentist is happy with all my teeth (will that blood preasure Disqualify me)?

  50. I had an underbite surgery, I had no accidents, the jawbone wasn’t broken but was cut by a surgeon, and I have titanium plates. Does that disqualify me from being a soldier?
    If this operation does not disqualify me, should I remove the titanium plates from the jaw or leave them before starting the recruitment process?

  51. Aron,

    Hope you doing good buddy i have a question, one of my goals.. if make it through the selection process.. is to join (2°REP) or (2°REG) the thing is.. i use contact lenses or glasses… im 31 YO. Im able to get the laser surgery for my eyes but the question is im able to join those regiments with glasses?? if not.. im able to join if i get the laser surgery to fix my eyes prior selection?


  53. I have recently lost my one teeth in an accident.But i will do filling after few months.So can I still join the legion army?Will it bother in the medical tests?

  54. I have my appendicitis scar ony my stomach does that make any problem during the medical test ?

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