22. Chapter – A Surprise and a lesson

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Lesson to learn in the french foreign legion

He woke us up at 5AM and gave 10 minutes to get ready. This time I was the first one to be outside at the corridor at 5.05AM. The others were nowhere, but the Scandinavian was already looking for them. I was doing push-ups until the rest of my team arrived. Once everyone was there he put some basic military knowledge questions to everyone until 6.00AM. Each wrong answer worth 15 push-ups.

After the first assembly, all of the new guys made part of the cleaning crew, without any exception. This was the easiest period of the day, but when I saw the corporals drinking a coffee and sitting in their room, I thought that one day my situation is going to be much better.

The day continued with sport

Running, like almost each day, a quick shower and we had a topography lesson in the company’s classroom.

One of the corporals came down with his laptop for the presentation, but the rest stayed upstairs in their room after the sport. The guy who organized the training was very qualified and a good instructor. Everything I didn’t understand in Castel became much clearer.

The rest of the day was calm; the main action during the afternoon was a bit dusting in the commune parts of the unit’s building.

This week was called “prise en main” in French

If someone has a good translation for this term, please leave a comment below. For me it means a strict period for the new ones.

During this short time, the corporals and NCOs are able to see if someone is hardworking and trustable or trying to escape the common jobs.

The first week continued in this atmosphere. We were occupied each night until midnight with stupid things like ironing the parade uniform, cleaning the corridor and have been woken up at 5AM for the questions/push-ups combo.

Thursday night at 7 PM, we had an assembly at the platoon’s corridor and for the happiness of everyone, the corporal sent us down to run around the unit’s building.

20 minutes later he called us in his room

Half of the platoon was already waiting for us with some chips and beer. It surprised me a lot, because I was 100% sure that he is going to make us clean his room.

He kept a short speech, remembered us that we are going to work much more with a broom than with a FAMAS but if we work well we are also going to learn some interesting stuffs.

He was right.


  1. Hello. Thank you. Could you please tell us more about life in other regiments? You’ve mentioned that if you were to pick a regiment again, it would be 1 REC or 2 REI. What’s the reason?

  2. Hey,
    I’d choose 1REC or 2REI, because these regiments are leader units during operations and it would be more interesting during missions. The platoons in infantry and cavalry companies stay and work together not like engineer platoons which make the job more interesting.
    2REI works also with armies from NATO, the regiments’ location are better.
    Life in other regiment is basically the same everywhere. Training, breaking balls, ceremony, training, mission, vigipirate and repeat.

  3. Una pregunta tengo mucha barba he visto varios legionarios con barba, me gustaría a futuro en un apt de años en la legion poder tener denuevo barba se puede y como? Y el 2 REI tiene algún comando especial así como son el GCP o el GCM y que tal son los comandos que tan activos están en misiones, gracias saludos desde Panamá pronto ingresare a lae legion en enero

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