The French Foreign Legion Rank Structure.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jonwilly, May 27, 2009.

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  1. Gents out here we have been receiving on the National Geographic Channel
    'Life In the Legion'
    A watchable series. However one small matter is, Er Baffling me.
    Several times a Corporal, more then one Corporal including one in Nick ! has said that above all he wants to be a NCO.
    Dose he mean a SNCO ?
    Could someone explain this.
    Below I have the section from a Google search which is clear as mud to little old moi.

    "Sous-officiers (NCOs)

    All French Foreign Legion NCOs begin their careers as legionnaires with one in four becoming an NCO. Sous-officiers account for 25% of the current legion's total manpower.

    * Engage Volontaire - 15 weeks basic training
    * Soldat 2e Classe (2nd Class Legionnaire) - on completion of training
    * Soldat 1e Classe (1st Class Legionnaire) - within 2 years of service
    * Caporal (Corporal) - after 2 years of service
    * Caporal Chef (Senior Corporal) - with 6 years of service

    * Sergent (Sergeant) - after 3 years of service
    * Sergent Chef (Senior Sergeant) - after 3 years in rank of Sergeant and 7 to 14 years of service
    * Adjudant (Warrant Officer) - after 3 years in rank of Senior Sergeant
    * Adjudant Chef (Senior Warrant Officer) - 4 years as Adjutant with at least 14 years service
    * Major - either passing an examination or being appointed without the examination after 14 years service.

    Major is the French military rank equivalent of a Regimental Sergeant Major. Since January 1st, 2009 this grade has been attached to the Sous-officiers. Prior to this, Major was an independent rank between NCOs and commissioned officers. It is an executive position within a regiment or brigade responsible for senior administration, standards and discipline."

    john
     
  2. What dont you understand? It seems that there are 2 career paths for JNCO & SNCO. I'm not sure how one transitions to the oher though? Application? Selection?
     
  3. Corporal (Caporal-chef or CCH) and L/cpl (caporal) are not JNCO ranks in the FR armed forces. They are more like senior privates. The CCH are a special category of personel. Those who make it to the rank of CCH will almost never be promoted to Sgt which is the first NCO rank in the FR armed forces.

    As CCH, they are considered as very experienced senior privates with privileges and more responsabilities than a Pte of L/cpl. They often seek very long careers in the FFL (there is a recent documentary on the Internet showing a 60-year old FFL BCH, that is brigadier-chef, the equivalent rank in arty and cavalry units, who managed to outsmart the system and re-enlist past his normal 22-25 years). In the FFL, the CCH are often called "the maffia" as they are in all the important places and know the units inside and out.

    So to become an NCO (Sgt) in the FFL, either you go through the “fast lane” and become a Sgt in about 4 years if you are good, fit, motivated and have a good grasp of French or through the slow lane (6 years or more).

    Check this website by an Australian who joined the FFL a few years ago; he now is a Sgt in the 2 REP and he explains how he got there.

    http://www.kepi.cncplusplus.com/
     
  4. Thanks fantassin.
    The Cpls in the series, who in Brit terms where NCOs, JNCOs, kept making the point they wanted to be NCOs which you confirm as starting at Sgt rank.
    john
     
  5. I am signing up for the Legion hopefully this year. Ive just got to get my I.D sorted out.
     
  6. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Linky no worky.
     
  7. \^^^ not suprised it's dated 2009
     
  8. * Engage Volontaire - 15 weeks basic training
    * Soldat 2e Classe (2nd Class Legionnaire) - on completion of training
    * Soldat 1e Classe (1st Class Legionnaire) - within 2 years of service
    * Caporal (Corporal) - after 2 years of service (Brigadier in the 1er REC)
    * Caporal Chef (Senior Corporal) - with 6 years of service (Brigadier Chef 1er REC)

    * Sergent (Sergeant) - after 3 years of service (Maréchal des logis 1er REC)
    * Sergent Chef (Senior Sergeant) - after 3 years in rank of Sergeant and 7 to 14 years of service (Maréchal des logis-chef 1er REC)

    So you can be a Brigadier in 2 years !!!
     
  9. Have you visited a French Foreign Legion Forum : cervens.net ? there's a lot of Rambo `s there but you will get some useful info.
     

  10. Yes i have visited the site and got all the info i need, cheers pal.