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Uniform, Band and Pace

Published on November 26, 2007

The Legionnaire is proud of his uniform ; he always wears it with panache :

The White Kepi
Officially part of the uniform since July 19, 1939, it was first worn in Africa as a kepi cover, with an added neck-protection against the hot sun.

The Legion Grenade
This insignia shows a grenade with a hollow centre bearing seven flames, two of them directed downwards.

The colors of the Foreign Legion
Green and red were the colors used by Swiss Guards while serving the French Kings.

The blue sash
Originaly worn under the clothes as a protection against intestinal disorders, it is now part of the parade uniform.

The Sappers ("pionniers") uniform
For parades, includes a leather apron and an axe.


The Principal Band, with about one hundred musicians, has gained world-wide fame. It differs from other French military bands by :

- its fifes,
- its Chinese pavilion,
- the way it carries its drums (with the lower ring at knee level).


The pace of the Foreign Legion’s march at 88 steps per minute, is almost the same as that of the former king’s soldiers.

The Foreign Legion has been marching to the time of the "Boudin" since 1870, when it became its official march. The name "Boudin", or sausage, probably derives from the rolled blanket worn across the chest and so nicknamed.