Wednesday, July 14, 2010
You've got to love the very politically incorrect French Foreign Legion. Here the First Pioneers Regiment of the Foreign Legion wears their traditional leather apron, carries axes and sports beards. The leather apron recalls their duties as blacksmiths and served to protect their uniforms against brush as they axed a way for other units to follow. Like Rangers, they led the way. The beard protected the face while working at forges. The white kepi evolved to protect its wearers against the harsh African and tropical sun. The Legion is famous as well for its uniquely swaggering, 88 step per minute march. Its marching song, Le Boudin, means The Sausage, and may refer to their bedrolls worn above their packs. Legion drummers carry their drums low, at knee level.
Here is a good history of the LE.