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I'm highly considering joining (or at least trying to join)

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I'm highly considering joining (or at least trying to join) the French Foreign Legion in a year or so and I'd like to get a few outside opinions on it. Please by all means, rip me a new one on this.

I've done a good amount of research into the current conditions of serving in the legion by reading what current and recently in the service legionnaires, and although it is a very hard life compared to civilian living i'm still highly interested in joining. To make this easier I'm going to list the pros and cons (at least as I see them) and my current situation in life.

Pros: Learn French, opportunity to get french/eu citizenship after service (permanent residence is guaranteed, from there you can apply for citizenship), highly disciplined lifestyle, I get paid, fed, and housed, I'll actually put my life towards something useful, I'll have the opportunity to interact with people all over the world, being truly pushed to my limits as a person, fresh start, world travel, part of an army that is among the most storied and respected there are, unit culture based on accepting society’s misfits and giving them a second chance, military life

Cons: Pay is shit, you're locked into a five year contract that you can't get out of unless you desert (many do), training is absolutely brutal and breaks people down mentally and physically, you are more or less expendable to the french government, other than security or other military jobs you may struggle to find employment later, you may hate it and still be stuck doing it, could potentially be killed or injured (though from what I heard from current members and recent vets it's highly unlikely I'll see any combat), advancing further as an officer is unlikely unless I'm REALLY good at my job (legion typically has a french national officer corps), family will most likely be angry and upset that I joined any military especially a foreign one, a career in any other field is essentially set back 5 years, military life
>>
cont.

My situation: I’m currently 18 years old and attending a local university, and frankly I’m not cut out for it or any kind of career in academia or skilled industry( engineering, economics etc.). I’ve considered trades or the U.S. military (and still am considering these options) I would pass the basic tests right now but I am training for the next year using programs made up by legionnaire’s and I hope to do well enough to earn a spot when I apply. While I am trying to focus on training so that I make it, it’s not the absolute end of the world if I’m rejected as I am considering other options in trades and the American military.
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>>17575674
Join the US military and if you are sufficiently determined you might make it into the specops world. If not, you can retire in twenty years with a nice package. Staying a few more for the pay bumps is enough you may never need to work after retirement. I'm living that dream right now.

US forces are far more likely to see combat than the FFL.

Best for career is Air Force, then Navy, Marines, and Army.

Most of your time in any military is spent at peace. Choose accordingly.

If you want to network, a US military career generates lots of DoD, contractor and other contacts. That gets you hired elsewhere afterwards.

Make every choice based on "career" even if you only figure doing one hitch.
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>>17575671
Why not join your own nations military?
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>>17575671
Try getting into US special forces first. If that doesn't work, you can always wait out your army contract and then go legion.
If you fail, you'll still have made some money. If you succeed, you'll get to learn more interesting things, go places, probably fight and learn foreign languages anyway.
I'm pretty jelly that you have this opportunity as I'm an Australian and have literally no chance at climbing that high in that world.
>you will never be SAD/SOG
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>>17575671

Do you have a specific job you want or are you planning to go open contract? I strongly recommend choosing your own path rather than letting needs-of-the-service choose it for you.

Unless you want to cut ties with America and your family and friends, go with the US military. If nothing else, taking leave will likely be far more convenient. Additionally, you won't get any veterans benefits and such from America serving in the French military. You could do both, I suppose, don't know how mixing benefits like that works; do the research if you like that idea and remember that different services have different approaches to prior service (i.e. US Army will respect your previously earned rank, US Marines will not and will send you through their own basic).

On the whole, I think you should go through with the military plan. Can't guarantee you'll love it or even like it, but it's a great stepping stone for life regardless.

- US Marine Infantry NCO
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