Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The French Foreign Legion Name Game

I was watching the Military Channel while my darling bride was working, and we hit upon an interesting conversation.  First off, I am a huge history buff, and she has managed to remain as informed as a day-old fawn on matters of historical record.  I admire her dedication to remaining a clean history slate.  Anyway, a program was on about the modern incarnation of the French Foreign Legion. 

For the uninformed, the Legion is a French military unit formed in 1831 and intended to be staffed with foreigners.  French citizens are welcome, but still make up less than 25% of its ranks.  The Legion has a distinguished combat reputation throughout its history, which is somewhat unusual for the French.  The most unique characteristic of the Legion was its willingness to accept foreigners on the run; in the past, you could join the the Legion with absolutely no questions asked, and assume any identity you should choose.  The Legion had very strict rules and tremendous esprit de corps, so your past didn't matter in theory- you would conform to the way of the Regiment or be gone, regardless of what you had done previous to joining.  This has changed a good bit in modern times, but the Legion is still a haven for disenfranchised soldiers from around the world, with eastern Europeans being the current flavor of the decade. 

Anyway, the idea that you could change your name and start over in a foreign army sparked an idea in my little head; I asked my wife what her Legion name would be, and she immediately answered "Latasha."  My first effort produced "Clock Hardwick" and my second was "Jocko LaRoque," pronounced LA ROCK..  This is a fun game.  I recommend you try it. 

Mr. F

1 comment:

  1. i wouldn't last a week there....so my name would probably be jane doe with the toe tag