Fitness Tests of the French Foreign Legion

The French Foreign Legion (FFL) stands as a distinguished branch within the French military, renowned for its versatility in infantry and airborne operations. Distinctively, members of the FFL pledge allegiance to the legion rather than to France itself.

Motto: "Legio Patria Nostra" (The Legion is our Fatherland)

Established in: 1831

Joining the FFL: Unlike many military units, joining the FFL does not require French citizenship. Citizenship can be obtained after three years of service or through the principle of "Français par le sang versé" ("French by spilled blood"), whereby combat injuries qualify for immediate citizenship. During service, non-French recruits typically receive citizenship from Belgium, Canada, or Switzerland. Candidates must be between 17 and 39 years old and commit to a five-year term. Upon enlistment, recruits relinquish their original passports and are assigned new identities.

Fitness Standards

  1. Cooper Test:

    • Pass: 2700 meters
    • Good: 3000 meters
    • Great: 3100 meters
    • Elite: 3200 meters
  2. Beep Test:

    • Pass: Level 7 (LV 7)
    • Good: Level 15 (LV 15)
    • Great: Level 21 (LV 21)
    • Elite: Level 25 (LV 25)
  3. Rope Climb (Usage of hands & legs allowed):

    • Pass: 5 meters
    • Good: Not specified
    • Great: Not specified
    • Elite: Not specified
  4. Rope Climb (No usage of legs allowed):

    • Pass: 5 meters
    • Good: Not specified
    • Great: Not specified
    • Elite: Not specified
  5. Pull-ups:

    • Pass: +7 reps
    • Good: +15 reps
    • Great: +20 reps
    • Elite: +25 reps
  6. Sit-Ups:

    • Pass: 100 reps to pass this test
    • Good: Not specified
    • Great: Not specified
    • Elite: Not specified
  7. Swim:

    • 25 meters
    • Pass/Fail event

To begin the recruitment process, candidates must perform seven pull-ups at the recruiting station. Subsequently, pre-selection entails the Beep Test and additional pull-up assessments. Successful candidates progress to interviews with a lieutenant and a psychologist. Pre-selection participants endure a rigorous 14-day period characterized by early mornings, volunteer tasks, and strict rules. Only those deemed suitable advance to the subsequent stages.

Basic Training - Foreign Legion: Basic training focuses on instilling foundational soldiering skills, emphasizing French language acquisition and adherence to Legion protocols. Trainees undergo extensive physical conditioning, including calisthenics, ruck marches, runs, and hand-to-hand combat. The culmination of basic training is marked by "Le Raid," a grueling 150km march completed over three days. Exceptional performers are granted preferences for regimental assignments.

Code d'honneur Du Légionnaire (Honor Code of Every Legionnaire): The Legion's honor code outlines principles of service, solidarity, discipline, and commitment to mission success. Legionnaires pledge loyalty to France and each other, irrespective of nationality, race, or religion. They uphold a proud yet humble demeanor, prioritize physical readiness, and execute missions with courage and integrity.

Jungle Phase - Foreign Legion: Jungle Phase, conducted in French Guyana, is a four-week ordeal focused on survival training. Candidates endure grueling challenges, including lengthy swims against river currents, mud crawling, and tree climbing. This phase serves as a test of resilience and adaptability, with candidates permitted only two attempts before elimination.

Fun Fact: The FFL's unofficial motto, "March or Die," reflects its demanding ethos, with recruits drilled at 88 steps per minute. Over its history, approximately 36,000 Legionnaires have made the ultimate sacrifice in service.

The French Foreign Legion embodies a tradition of service, sacrifice, and camaraderie, attracting recruits from around the world to its storied ranks.

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