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Wednesday, February 28, 2018
The French Foreign Legion is a military service wing of the French Army established in 1831, unique because it was exclusively created for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces.
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Today's Random Fact:
The original purpose of the Foreign Legion was to remove disruptive elements from society and put them to use fighting the enemies of France. Recruits included failed revolutionaries from the rest of Europe, soldiers from the disbanded Swiss and German mercenary regiments of the Bourbon monarchy, and troublemakers in general, both foreign and French.
Historically, the American film industry portrayed the Foreign Legion as having a reputation as a haven for cut-throats and fugitives from justice. This image is largely out of date since the legion now conducts extensive background checks via Interpol.
Although it is part of the French military, it is the only unit of the military that does not swear allegiance to France, but to the Foreign Legion itself.
Some Americans disagreed with the United States' initial refusal to enter WWI and so they joined the French Foreign Legion or the British or Canadian army. A group of U.S. pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille, which was part of the French air force and became one of the top fighting units on the Western Front.