How does the 2 REP (FFL) compare to the British Paras?

To follow on about the “Foyer du Legionnaire” at Camp Raffalli in my time (early to mid eighties).

if the whole regiment was present (or only one company was away “en tournante”) it was quite usual for three articulated lorries full of Kronenbourg to resupply the Foyer every week.

In addition to the beer, the other alcoholic drink it sold was little prepackaged glasses with a plastic lid on top of “pruneaux d’Agen”, which was the closest you could get to spirits in the Foyer.

By the way the word “foyer” originally meant the hearth in a home. The warmest place, where everyone gathered.

There was a big wall mounted chicken rotisserie and they were very popular especially at weekends, when the Foyer was opened for longer hours during the day.

Prices tended to be dirt cheap. A crate of Kronenbourg was 48 Francs or two Francs a bottle. Considering that ten Francs was then roughly equivalent to one Pound Sterling, you got ten litres of beer for less than a fiver!

I remember when a British Caporal Chef was celebrating his fortieth birthday. For that Sunday morning he ordered forty crates of beer and forty roast chickens, then he borrowed a Simca (the equivalent of a Bedford four tonner) from the Motor Pool and we (elements of the Brit Mafia) loaded the beers and chickens and ourselves onto it and set out for the DZ. We ended up at the old Sherman tank wreck with the beers kept cold in the Fiume Secco river. That was a good party.

Pretty much every night in the Foyer, there would be groups of Legionnaires clustered around tables, with crates of beer stacked up and a couple of cartons of “clopes” (fags). It was customary when joining a group to buy a crate, everyone shared. If you were out of cash it was understood that you’d get yours in when you were flush.

Sometimes things would get rowdy, especially at closing time. Much depended on the Regimental Duty (Orderly) Sergeant. in the way he handled the blokes. I remember a disliked braggart American Sergent-Chef, who once swaggered up to our table and legs astance, hands on hips, drawled something derogatory about the assembled Brit Mafia. An old Jock (Scottish) schlouker (not the one I alluded to previously, but one that swore he had met the devil one night on Mururoa Atoll); turned around, looked at the Sergent-Chef and drawls back in his best Glaswegian “John Wayne’ese”: “Get off your horse and drink your milk.” And we all burst out laughing, as he stormed off to call out the “piquet d’incendie” (fire picket) to help turf us out, while in the meantime we dispersed after arranging a post-Appel clandestine drinking RV. As I recall the Sergent-Chef in question later deserted and ended up writing exaggerated stories for an American “mercenary magazine”.
 
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exspy

LE
Close by there were hundreds of white corrimechs, stacked two high, all with a large black "UN painted on each side.
Except for the one on the upper level which some Legion wag had very professionally changed to "DEUX"
Corrimechs?
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Paul F. l suppose ?
Just did a search and noticed that I'd written up that story before on this thread (ah that's old age for you) with a bit more personal detail. So the rat's out of the bag so to speak.
 
Fanshaw? his name is no secret, most who met him thought he was an utter cnut.
Was he originally a "fut-fut" at Castel? Or was that just a rumour?
 
Fut-fut?
There was a Yank on Bear Grylls' series Escape To The Legion. He was bell**d as well.
The programme was total bellendery as well. The Foreign Legion Association of GB membership was approached for input by the producton team, we all refused.
 
A Légionnaire considered as very promising who stays in the 4°RE for fast promotion to Caporal instead of being posted to a unit after basic training.

Not sure if the scheme still exists...
As I recall, fut-futs were regarded with great suspicion in 2 REP (and likely the other Regiments), most (but definitely not all) were knobbers.

What would your common sense tell you, if you wanted to be a Legionnaire, get to a Regiment, prove yourself, go on Ops and then get selected for your JNCO's cadre. Or would you accept it if you were asked at the end of Basic Training to stay on in the Training Regiment, get accelerated promotion to Caporal (then possibly Sergent as was feasible in my time) all the while staying in the Training Regiment and helping train new intakes of recruits. This was on offer if you did well in Basic Training, had some previous military experience and had a skill or language that they needed.

When I was in Castel, it tended to be the fut-fut JNCOs who were the ones fullest of themselves.

@Jean d'Épée Does this scheme still exist?
 
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LepetitCaporal

War Hero
As I recall, fut-futs were regarded with great suspicion in 2 REP (and likely the other Regiments), most (but definitely not all) were knobbers.

What would your common sense tell you, if you wanted to be a Legionnaire, get to a Regiment, prove yourself, go on Ops and then get selected for your JNCO's cadre. Or would you accept it if you were asked at the end of Basic Training to stay on in the Training Regiment, get accelerated promotion to Caporal (then possibly Sergent as was feasible in my time) all the while staying in the Training Regiment and helping train new intakes of recruits. This was on offer if you did well in Basic Training, had some previous military experience and had a skill or language that they needed.

When I was in Castel, it tended to be the fut-fut JNCOs who were the ones fullest of themselves.

@Jean d'Épée Does this scheme still exist?
Anyone can volonteer for fut-fut after basic nowadays.. several reasons for that
A normal legionnaire who has a couple of years service and a specialist course, probably a company tour or two... will not want to return to Castel to train bleu bites
Fut-futs usually do 3 sections
3 X 4 months basic equals a years service of a 5 year contract
Fûts have hardly ever in their career touched a broom and mop
Castel needs to maintain a certain amount of caporals to train new recruits...same for Sargent's
Not all are fuds but the 90 % others are
 
Anyone can volonteer for fut-fut after basic nowadays.. several reasons for that
A normal legionnaire who has a couple of years service and a specialist course, probably a company tour or two... will not want to return to Castel to train bleu bites
Fut-futs usually do 3 sections
3 X 4 months basic equals a years service of a 5 year contract
Fûts have hardly ever in their career touched a broom and mop
Castel needs to maintain a certain amount of caporals to train new recruits...same for Sargent's
Not all are fuds but the 90 % others are
Thanks @LepetitCaporal, whatever happened to the system they instituted in the mid-t-late eighties whereby any Caporal finishing his CME/CTE-00 had to stay on at 4 RE and train recruits for one or two (sometimes more) recruit intakes; and the same when returning to do CM1/CT1-00 (i.e. Sergents' Cadre Course)?

It pi$$ed off the lads having to do it, especially if their training tours were arbitrarily prolonged by the 4 RE head shed, but at least it ensured that there was a majority of seasoned instructors at Castel, especially among the Caporaux.
 

LepetitCaporal

War Hero
@ that time, for C.M.1 (Sgt course, it was worse than Fut fûts...they would remain in Castel for a year or two and miss out on over seas tours (3 X their Metropole wage, more or less) but they gained rank after
At that period, pension was after 15 years...and there wasn't no reconverstion course ( find a job in civvy before finex and get paid by the arrmy with your Légion wage
6 months or even up to 2 years if you work your tkt right, depending on rank of course, now it's 17 and 6 months
Once promoted to Sgt, he cannot be dismissed (unless serious reasons)
CDI (contract durée intedermine (unlimited contract)
Caporals and any other lower ranks are, Contract determine = the 1year or 2 year contract you sign up for (usually it's 6 months... keeps the dudes on their toes) Can be dismissed without further notice
Not any one can become a Fut fût,
You have to volonteer and be well noted to become a Fut fût
You must have a certain amount of péché (stamina)
Extensive french lessons and etiquette (a month or so) are giving...makes them look sharp, I guess
Not just any one can enter the mess
Perso, I did my caporals course with 3 years and 6 months service
Knew more chit than my instructors
L.P.C.
 
@ that time, for C.M.1 (Sgt course, it was worse than Fut fûts...they would remain in Castel for a year or two and miss out on over seas tours (3 X their Metropole wage, more or less) but they gained rank after
At that period, pension was after 15 years...and there wasn't no reconverstion course ( find a job in civvy before finex and get paid by the arrmy with your Légion wage
6 months or even up to 2 years if you work your tkt right, depending on rank of course, now it's 17 and 6 months
Once promoted to Sgt, he cannot be dismissed (unless serious reasons)
CDI (contract durée intedermine (unlimited contract)
Caporals and any other lower ranks are, Contract determine = the 1year or 2 year contract you sign up for (usually it's 6 months... keeps the dudes on their toes) Can be dismissed without further notice
Not any one can become a Fut fût,
You have to volonteer and be well noted to become a Fut fût
You must have a certain amount of péché (stamina)
Extensive french lessons and etiquette (a month or so) are giving...makes them look sharp, I guess
Not just any one can enter the mess
Perso, I did my caporals course with 3 years and 6 months service
Knew more chit than my instructors
L.P.C.
Cheers for that. I made Caporal in under two years and was down for CM1/CT1 completion before my the end of the fourth. However, I pissed off someone that I shouldn’t have and finished my five as a Caporal. I looked at returning to the Legion in early ‘89 and knocked about Aubagne / Marseille, Nîmes, Orange and Castelnaudary talking to lads still serving that I knew. Two 2 REP contemporaries of mine (an Italian and a German) were stuck in 4RE as Sergents for ages under the scheme you mentioned. They were heartily cheesed off with everything and I was discouraged by all the comments that I got from them and others.
 
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