I'm a romanian living in France for the past 6 years and working for the French Foreign Legion.

My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/IEuZmr6.png

Comments: 927 • Responses: 88  • Date: 

sovietskaya224 karma

how did you pick your name/alias for the legion? do you choose it to be more badass? i'd probably choose pierre for myself.

SidSid16293 karma

I didnt pick my name, someone else is in charge to do that... not every one can pick his name...

Skerzos197 karma

If shit happened in Romania and your legion had to operate there, what would your stance be?

SidSid16386 karma

It depends on the situation, but you have the option not to get deployed in your own country if shit happens there... so lets hope shit doesn't happen...

PublicRemedy188 karma

Can you provide proof with imgur or another photo hosting website rather than MEGA? I can't access it on mobile.

PublicRemedy94 karma

Thanks! I want to know, what's the selection process like? How does it differ from the normal military.

SidSid16173 karma

I dont know the normal military tests... is not the selection that is difficult, staying for more than 4 months there is the difficult part...

poopymcfuckoff67 karma

Do they provide decent room and food? What did you have to do in the 4 months? Just basic training?

Do you get to be deployed anywhere nice? French Polynesia is lovely this time of year

SidSid16139 karma

Decent room+5 roommates +food + deployment somewhere in the world ( most of the times Africa, but is nice and warm there also...) first 4 months only basic training...

Durzan666154 karma

In which countries did you operate?

SidSid16245 karma

Mali, Jordan, Lebanon, Djibouti, Abu Dhabi, deployed for peacekeeping or training...

white_fridge189 karma

Heyyy Lebanese here, how was your time here in my country?? Did you enjoy it?? What do u think of the people there?? Where wer you stationed?? (In the south most probably but where? I wonna see if you were close to my hometown :P )

SidSid16126 karma

Beautiful country, seen Beyrouth and Jbeil.

PhroMetal122 karma

Why did you choose to join the French Foreign Legion? What were you doing prior to joining and what sort of criteria were there for joining?

Sorry, I don't know much about the French Foreign Legion, but it seems very interesting as an outsider.

SidSid16159 karma

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdFogld81mw Van Damme did a good propaganda for the legion... Looking for adventure...

I was a student before that an working from here to there... there was medical tests and physical tests, testing to see if your gone be able to carry your rifle and your backpack when marching 40 Km...

Toxicseagull49 karma

In addition to SidSid's comments can I recommend two books?

Simon Murray - Legionnaire

mark morgan - Legionnaire Mackenzie

An englishman's and a northern irish guys biography of their time in the Legion and brilliant reads.

SidSid1645 karma

yeah but is more fun asking here... :))

The_Sharpie_Is_Black103 karma


Do you always post pictures in such a barbaric fashion?

SidSid16158 karma

sorry. I'm new here, getting used to Reddit posting... :)

FunkyDiscoMan327 karma

Wouldn't have happened on Victorias watch.

SidSid16272 karma


oliversjgilmour97 karma

Do you enjoy your profession?

SidSid16109 karma

not anymore...

Coffeeaddict78366 karma

The French Foreign Legion is one of the most revered and legendary special forces in military history, not to mention the first ever special forces group ever assembled. Is the training as rigorous and demanding as you thought it would be or is it impossible to imagine without actually being there?

SidSid1670 karma

It depends on the attitude of superiors... is hard at the beginning, then you get used to it...

themobfoundmeguilty32 karma

They're treated more like a regular Army unit these days. But in the Legion they have Special Operations units now that have their own selection and training. So you have to join the legion first and then try to get in those units. I believe the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Parachute regiments are their spec ops much how the SAS are paras.

SidSid1672 karma

there is no 1st and 3rd parachute regiments in the legion only 2nd and is true they have a Special Operation unit GSP

dougviaweb117 karma

Correct, the special ops branch of the legion consists solely of George St Pierre

SidSid1659 karma

Sorry, my bad, Groupement des commandos parachutistes (GCP)

panameboss62 karma

What does a normal day consist of for you?

SidSid16115 karma

06h00 the call 08H00 Sport 10H00 Courses 12H00 Meal 14H00 Courses 16H00 maybe sport (actually at this time the day is over) 18H00 end of the program ( but you are never free at this hour) In general is like this but it changes every day... and is another program if you go on the field...

phecmotuya49 karma

Do you have access to computer/internet/tv? Can you go 'outside' after each day or do you have to stay within a specific area?

SidSid1692 karma

computer- macbook pro, internet-4G, tv- don't like... in the first 4 month of instruction is more strict and you dont go "outside" (because you are more on the field than usual) but things are changing each new year is not like the last... once you are in the active regiment you can go in town after the program ( with some restrictions and rules)...

nae3258 karma

What nation or conflict area do you expect to be deployed to? what would your role be?

SidSid1697 karma

expect, there's no expectation here... they say you go, you go... from my regiment there are 360 people or more deployed already in 3 different countries...

od3tzk158 karma

How was the early parts of the training? What happened in your first month / year or so?

SidSid1696 karma

first part was difficult because I didn't have military experience before that, but was fun also... firs month and year is all about learning how things work in this army...

FutureSynth39 karma

What level was your french at before joining? Also, did you know any other languages aside from your native tongue?

SidSid1673 karma

beginner level for french. a little bit of italian and spanish and I speak english.

FutureSynth30 karma

And how fluent would you say you are now? Have they done a good enough job? Or just basics to make sure you follow orders?

SidSid1678 karma

I understand everything, I read, I write, not an expert, just enough... :)

FutureSynth29 karma

Awesome. Final question: How long did it take you to get to a sufficient level like that? Did they handle all the teaching or did you teach yourself some stuff in your spare time in the legion?

SidSid1677 karma

They handle basic teaching but if you want to learn more is up to you. For us romanians is much easy to learn french.

boxxy9456 karma

Do your foreign legion colleagues make jokes about Romania? If yes, can you give us some examples?

SidSid16248 karma

:)) Of cours.. Everytime I say I'm from Romania they say I'm a thief...

Infantrypie39 karma

Hey dude. Where did you join? I went to Fort Du Nogent in 2012 but was turned away for being 17. Pretty shit. What regiment are you serving in?

SidSid1646 karma

Fort Du Neogent. did you have a paper from your parents where they agree to let you join the FFL?

Infantrypie27 karma

I did. Can only assume the guy on the gate was having a shit day.

SidSid1639 karma

maybe... but there was a time when they slowed down the enlisting...

Grutte_Alk36 karma

Hey mate, french guy here, thanks for what you do.

Do you plan on asking for french nationality?

You mentioned that you no longer enjoyed the Legion, what would you like to do when / if you leave the Legion?

SidSid1656 karma

I'm gonna ask for the nationality someday but not yet, France is a beautiful country with a lots of opportunities so i'm gonna find something to do...

phecmotuya35 karma

I wear glasses (not that bad). Can I join?

SidSid1662 karma

yes and I dont know, the doctor there is gonna tell you... there are a lots of guys with glasses here...

harteman34 karma

How hard will it be for me to join? I am seriously considering making the journey. I am an American with Army training and no serious criminal history.

SidSid1669 karma

make the journey if you really want to join... no one can say how hard or easy will be for you...

antichristreboot32 karma

Just wondering if many people from english speaking countries join. I also always wondered how long it takes to pick up french fluently and do they give lessons or just hope you pick it up along the way?

SidSid1676 karma

We have a lots of guys from everywhere, learning french can take about 3-4 months, everyone speaks french you have no choice, sign language first and then little by little french...

PhilosophicalToilet32 karma

I've read stories about physical punishment, as in beatings and punches during training. Did you see or experience any of this? Thanks for the AMA, I've always half-jokingly said if my life falls apart I'll just run away and join the French Foreign Legion.

SidSid16167 karma

Not so many beatings and punches during training anymore, but they exist. Everyone has experienced that, is part of FFL. Less punishment = more pussy joining...

MorrisM31 karma

Salut! Felicitari pentru AMA! Stiai ca ai ajuns si pe /r/romania cu AMA asta?

SidSid1632 karma

am vazut ca Boxxy94 a mai deschis un reddit in romana... poate sunt si romani curiosi... :)

sk3pt1c31 karma

Is there an age limit to joining?

I'm 35 but I'm fit and speak a little french, done my time in the greek army so i have some knowledge of army stuff, although not extensive.

What of cost? Do i pay my ticket to france and then it's all covered by the ffl?

Also, have you actually been in any battles? Shot anyone? Been shot?

Merci bien!

SidSid1665 karma

42 is the limit of age... The FFL is not paying you nothing until you are accepted ( even those rejected get a daily pay dependindg on there stay in Aubagne). Once you arrived there all is taken care of, food, sleep and everything...

Never been shot and didn't kill any civilians for fun...

metamorphosis39 karma

Never been shot and didn't kill any civilians for fun...

I don't know i this was just some mistake from literal translation to English; but does this imply you killed them for not fun reasons?

SidSid1694 karma

Making a joke, someone asked "If I killed civilians for fun"... No civilians killing in FFL...

phecmotuya27 karma

I'm vietnamese here. Were there any asians in the FFL?

SidSid1692 karma

I dont know any vietnamese but whe have a lots of chinese, japanese, coreans...

harteman25 karma

In your opinion, what are the main downsides to joining the French Foreign Legion? What do you dislike the most?

SidSid1688 karma

-no privacy -not many rights

There are a lot of superiors that forgot they started from the bottom also...

trancematzl1560 karma

There are a lot of superiors that forgot they started from the bottom also

so like in every Army around the world ?

SidSid1644 karma

think so

Spiffinz22 karma

What is your honest to goodness opinion of the FAMAS rifle? And, is it true that regular French troops are not paid a salary? (serve for free)

SidSid1687 karma

The FAMAS just got better... a little bit heavier than US rifles but is a good weapon... French troops are paid a salary.. no one serves for free...

sahArab22 karma

How do the French members of the FFL treat the non-French? Are there any sensitivities?

SidSid1663 karma

the actual question is: How the non-French treat the french members? There are more non-french members in FFL and some of them don't like the french... but we all get along just fine...

stinky_french20 karma

French here. How long do you still have to serve to be able to become a civil again? Do they help you for your life after FFL?

SidSid1633 karma

not long till i'm a civilian again, there is some "help" but they dont want you out... they "help" you more if you stay...

Victuz18 karma

In the 6 years of your service did you ever actually see any "action"? Or was it just peacekeeping operations/ training. Obviously no details if you can't share them.

SidSid1647 karma

The action is in the so called peacekeeping operations...

Victuz19 karma

I see, guess that is my civilian brain going "Duh it's peacekeeping! It must be nice and quiet!"

SidSid1626 karma


cozmyn85218 karma

what are requierments to join? do you need to know french ?

SidSid1641 karma


french language is not a requirement but is good to know it, helps you learn other things faster...

blazentanks16 karma

Did you go to the French Foreign Legion festival of sorts in Castelnaudary in the South of France? They had dodgem cars dog attacking training stuff like that it was pretty cool.

SidSid1626 karma

There is not such thing like a festival, maybe it was the FFL celebration of Camerone ( a famous battle celebrated each year at the end of April)

sfacets15 karma

Did you ever want to ring the bell during training?

SidSid1636 karma

Of course, only liars would say otherwise...

LipsNailsSex15 karma

Can women join FL? They've announced few years ago that they want to have 20% women in until 2020, but there are no reported women in FL.

SidSid1623 karma

No women in FFL except some French Officers in one or 2 bureau... No women in the ranks...

AlexP22214 karma

Where abouts have you been posted? And how comes your ID is no longer valid? (not saying it's not real or anything but saw in one of your replies you didn't enjoy it or as much anymore so curious to know what happened) Thanks for your service and doing this AMA!

SidSid1634 karma

the ID is my first one, with the assumed identity, since then i've got my real id back...

didn't enjoying as much anymore because i want to start a family, and other "adventures"...

(Edit) That is a valid military ID but because is for an assumed identity you cannot be used to every administrative action, ( NON VALABLE pour tout demarche administratif = NON VALID for administrative use) you cannot go abroad with it, you cannot open a bank account, is there only to say you are a soldier in FFL and identify you if the police stops you.

rockeh19 karma

Wait, so when you sign up, you get a fabricated identity, right? But do your superiors just keep your ID and not give it back? Like the Qatari do to their illegal workers? (Not to mention pimps, with immigrant prostitutes.)

[edt] I'm not implying your superiors are Qatari pimps.

SidSid1632 karma

yes... they keep your id until you get your identity back...

Like Qatari but they give other military ID...

whubbard5 karma

What if you show up with no ID?

SidSid1622 karma

your not getting in...

TheYatesMachine14 karma

Former US Military Intelligence Officer here... I'm working on my master's degree but I really miss the military.

I want some more excitement and I'm considering joining the FFL when I'm finished with my degree.

To my understanding, regardless of my rank in the US military or background, when I join the Legion I'll be back at the bottom rung. I've been a private before, and I can do it again, but I wanted clarification and my email to the FFL was never answered.

Can you make that a little clearer for me?

SidSid1653 karma

Even Mr Barack Obama if is trying to enlist to FFL is gone start from the bottom... only french officers come here from the Academy and dont start from the bottom ( with some exceptions because it exists a way to be officer even when you start from the bottom...

fight-the-beard13 karma

Hi im looking at going and signing up the end of this year. Im English speaking, medically and physically fit, no criminal record and previous military experience. How would you say my chances of making selection are? I've heard they only take guys who were in infantry, or they only take the poorest but i have no idea and also thank you for doing the AMA

SidSid1635 karma

Is not gonna be a problem for you... you have all the qualities... it depends on you how long you will be able to stay in... getting in is not difficult, staying there is other thing...

somethingineveruse13 karma

how is the relation between the Foreign Legion and the "regular" French Army? Do you feel generally accepted as part of the French Army, or do you feel treated as foreigners, even though you serve France?

SidSid1631 karma

We are accepted as part of French Army without problems, sometimes I think they look up to us but in the end we do the same job and we are all french soldiers...

gkiltz13 karma

Where, exactly is the French foreign Legion still active? How many people are still in it?

SidSid1629 karma

8000 people aprox. http://i.imgur.com/oHCPmEk.jpg

FutureSynth11 karma

There is talk of the FFL doing a big recruiting run at the moment. Is this something you are aware of? If so, have you heard any inside reasons why?

And have you seen any increase in rookie numbers flowing through? Etc.

SidSid1648 karma

TERRORISTS on french soil, last year they wanted to cut the numbers but after the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo_shooting
everything changed in the french army budget... Need protection for french people = need more men in the army ( including FFL)

Yamagatari11 karma

How is the food they serve in your camp? Is it always military ration or vary depending on local supply?

SidSid1624 karma

Military rations are for the field or when deployed, each regiment has a cafeteria but not the best food in the world... :(

p_hinman3rd10 karma

How about quitting? I wanted to join but I read it's a 5 year contract, which is too big of a commitment for me. And how about freedom, what can you do in your free time? How are the people there? And how 'safe' is the work?

SidSid1635 karma

You can quit when you want but the paperworks takes time (couple of months) sow is long and frustrating till you get out again... the 5 years contract is definitive after one year of probation.

5 years is not a big commitment, is fast... trust me... Freedom you have, but is not yours, is them to give you when they like...

alaxsxaqseek10 karma

Why are you unsatisfied with your occupation?

SidSid1622 karma

Searching for something else... seen this, done that so is time to change...

ElectricSundance9 karma

What are the requirements to serve in the French Foreign Legion? I mean how did the processing go?

SidSid1618 karma

17-42 years old, good health and motivated to stay there, this are the only requirements... Processing = tests + background check + drug test + patience...

ElectricSundance9 karma

Interesting. Follow up: How many weeks/months do you have to go through the ordeal of processing before you are sent to boot camp?

SidSid1610 karma

for me was 2 weeks because I came in Paris first but for the guys who arrived directly to Aubagne is a week...

dahioui119 karma

How can you retire from duty?

SidSid1621 karma

You can retire after 5 years or after 35 years, is up to you. After 17 years you have the right to a retirement paid by French Government.


I went to high school in castelnaudary, do you like the life there outside Danjou Base?

SidSid1614 karma

Castelnaudary= best beans in Europe. i didn't have a life outside Danjou Base :)

phecmotuya6 karma

How did you hear about the FFL and how did you go about signing up? Were the tests difficult to past?

SidSid1611 karma

I seen info on the web and on the official page http://www.legion-etrangere.com/

not very difficult

MonstrousVoices6 karma

Could you tell us a couple light hearted stories?

SidSid1620 karma

I'm not good at storytelling... I like Q&A's...

But i can tell you there is a lot of fun in this army sometimes...

mariuolo6 karma

What will be your professional options after you get discharged?


SidSid167 karma

Definitely not PMC...

Hopkirua5 karma

What side arm do you carry? And what kind of task do you do? Is it mostly patrolling areas or what?

SidSid1611 karma

We use Pamas ( under Beretta licence) https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAMAS_G1

Patrolling, interventions...

teamkiller914 karma

Did you have any contact with any PMCs while deployed?

SidSid168 karma


IreniCadoz6 karma

Private Military Companies.

SidSid168 karma


nae324 karma

Do you think ISIS is beatable with our current strategy? If not, how do you propose defeating them?

SidSid1654 karma

Out of context... there are so many generals thinking at this, i'm not a general... :)

antichristreboot3 karma

whats your favourite rifle to shoot?

SidSid165 karma

Minimi, and Frf2...

yotsuba2 karma

how do you like them popcorns?

SidSid166 karma

how do you like them popcorns? Watching a movie...

ElectroJake2 karma

Do you have any information about the SS or nazi war criminals joining the legion in their masses after the war. And what was the impact on the legion because of this?

SidSid162 karma

To young to know this... maybe some of them are still hiding in FFL ... dont know... :(

Us3r3112 karma

So, a bit of a random question, but what kind of books and movies do you like? Do you tend to prefer stories that feel like an adventure, or stories that help you remember the comfort of home?

MasherusPrime2 karma

Have you been recruited or approached by "gun for hire" type of operations? How would you feel about becoming a soldier of fortune (=Mercenary)?

SidSid1611 karma

I'm looking for new adventures but not soldier of fortune...

ubomw2 karma

Comment est ton français ? Tu as été en Guyane ?

How is your French? Have you been deployed to Guiana?

SidSid1612 karma

Je me debrouille assez bien en francais... j'ai pas vu la Guyane encore...

Tin_Foiled0 karma

Do you get paid?

SidSid161 karma


ClintHammer-3 karma

Are you real, or just a guerilla marketing account for whatever mega is?

SidSid163 karma

if chose mega instead of dropbox... i've forgot that imgur existed... :)

rae1988-16 karma

Do some of the guys become too close to each other while living in the barracks and end up becoming butt buddies??

While on deployment, have you ever killed a civilian just for fun??

SidSid1613 karma

You end up having a lots of friends, you are with them 24h/7days a week,you get deployed everywhere, we take care of each other...

I think only terrorists kill for fun... or psychopaths... killing is not for fun... hunting animals maybe but not humans...