Had a Canadian bloke from 2 REP come to 10 Para in 89. He was f*cking crap and couldn't tab for toffee. Kept moaning about "we never marched this fast in the Legion". Apparently the 5 mile tab we did on his first drill night was harder than anything he did in 5 years in 2 REP. Of course, he might be an exception. Personally, I think any Englishman who chooses to go and fight for the French should be hanged for treason
We had one RAOC (as was) bloke who had gone AWOL and joined the Legion. To get a promotion he had to clear the outstanding charge, so we went AWOL from the Legion, came back and faced the music, got his discharge, then went back to the Legion and served his punishment from them! Now that's what I call devotion to duty!
Many moons ago I read a book called 'Mouthful of Rocks' by a (London) TA Para who joined the FFL, made it to 2 REP, then deserted after 2 or 3 years.
He was very critical of the Legion (and, I understand, he's not too popular with most FFL types), but I don't recall him saying that the phys was easy. (He served with some ex-British Army & RM regulars, again none of them are quoted as saying it was easy.) This was in the mid 80s, but I think if phys standards weren't too high, he'd have taken the opportunity to be critical .
Leon - we might be part timers, but wannabes isn't a fair description of most of us. We have a few ex FFL bods at our TA centre, as well as a lot of ex-regs from the British forces. If what we did was a complete waste of time, I think most of them would quit.
I believe the record holder for the individual assault course at RCB was an ex-FFL wallah who was with 23 SAS when we were onour RCB together. People were shyly admitting to having done six or seven obstacles and this bloke did sixteen in three minutes!
The book A Mouthful of Rocks is by Christian Jennings. It's hilarious; he's extremely hard on himself and basically paints himself out as a clueless walt who didn't know what he was letting himself in for. I worked with an ex-10 PARA guy who knew him and confirmed this self-assessment as totally accurate.
Saying that, it's difficult not to warm to his honesty in the book. He went on to wrote a few other military-themed books, including Green-Eyed Boys with Adrian Weale. This details the infamous antics of Parachute Regiment mortar platoons with more detail than I think is entirely necessary.
I served in the TA with an ex-FFL bloke. His fitness was average, his weapon-handling was perfectly adequate, his French was eccentric but he knew more filthy songs than I knew actually existed and basically behaved like a character from a Sven Hassel novel.