T Nation

French Foreign Legion



I’m from Sweden and I can’t join my own military because I got no education. Im now 19 years old and it would take me 3 years to get my education and I don’t want to waste 3 years of my life just to get a diploma.
I got my own bussiness already so it would just be a waste of time.
My dream is and has always been to become a solider since I was about 7 years old.
I’ve been thinking about joining the French Foreign Legion since I was 16 years old.
I would rather join another country like the US or UK, is this possible without waiting more than 1 year? (Before 2020)


It is possible for you to join the US military, but you would have to already have immigrated to the states and gotten your green card. What education are you missing? Did you not finish high school? Don’t know what you call it in Sweden, the last 4 years before university. That could be an issue in joining the US mil as well.


I’ve finished grade 1st to 9th grade, that’s all you must finish in Sweden and then we got another 3 years (High School) and then University.
For me to join the Swedish military they said to me I must also finish another 3 years (our high school), is it the same in the US?


I’m pretty sure you need at least a GED in the US and you have to pass the ASVAB, of course.


How do I get a GED?


In the US? I don’t know, you’d have to look it up.


I don’t think a GED works internationally. What is your business? is it successful? why did you not want to finish your last three years of high school, if you wanted to join the military since you were seven?


Accounting, yes it’s successful.
I did not finish my last three years because I needed an income, and I didn’t know back then that you needed to finish it until I went to the military to do the tests this summer.


Are you sure this was a lifelong dream and not just a nebulous flight of fancy? Like “Yeah, that would be cool!” but if it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t then oh well?

I ask because most people driven to fulfill their lifelong dream will research the process a little bit before they fudge up something like the educational requirements then take action toward that end.


I actually kind of thought about this after discharge (honorable) from the US Army because I enjoyed the military, but was tired of the sandbox. Best site is here:


Pretty straightforward.


You sound like someone who likes to do what you want you to do. You have a business, you are your own boss. Good luck in the FFL. You will get treated like shit and told what to do and when to do it. The good news is that you’ll have to learn French so it’s like school all over again.


Getting your GED requires taking placement tests to see where you’re at and what you know as far as math, grammar (English), and some basic science. Nothing very hard, just making sure you can function and have a base level of knowledge.

Once you’ve taken the placement tests, you can begin classes. I know some places it costs a lot of money, some places it’s not that much, and some places it’s mostly free. Where I live, the placement tests cost money (not sure how much) and the classes are free.

Classes in my town are 3 days a week (Mon/Tue/Wed), for 2 hours. There’s 3 sessions a day. At 10am, 12pm, and 6pm. How long you need to take classes depends entirely on where you start from, how often you decide to attend classes, and how hard you work/smart you are.

In the US, we have 12 years of mandatory school. The last 4 (9-12) are our high school. So say you have two people, one who completed 9th grade, and the other who completed 11th grade. The one who finished 11th grade will most likely get his GED faster, since he has less to learn. GED classes are not mandatory, so some people don’t show up very often (I’ve helped teach GED classes before), which is silly, because they take longer to learn the necessary material. And if you never practice math or reading at home, or just aren’t very smart, it’ll take longer to get your GED.

Anyway, I’d say you could do it in 6-12 months. Depends largely on how good your English is. You’re Swedish? Your English looks decent from your posts. I’ve taught many Hispanics and Africans who know basically zero English, learn the language fairly well within 1-2 years, and get their GED within another year. Part of this depends on their work ethic - most of the people I’ve taught work 60+ hours a week and are very driven, but some don’t try very hard and make very little progress.

So I’d say you’re looking at around a year to fine tune your English and get your GED.

Like @SkyzykS said, is this something you really want to do? Do you want to uproot your entire life, lose the business you own, leave your family, to become a soldier in a country you most likely have no specific care for? Another thing, if you join the FFL, is that like @zecarlo said, you’ll have to learn French. I’m sure they have requirements about the minumum amount of education required, much like the US’s GED program, and you may end up taking even longer than you would in America, depending on if you know French (do you?) or not.

All in all man, I’d say it may not be worth it. Does Sweden have some type of program similar to the US’s GED? If so, you could complete it while still working full time. I know many people who are older with children who have done it. A young, hardworking man certainly should be able to, if he has access to it. Or do they have some type of thing like the National Guard? Where you’re not really a “soldier” as in you get deployed but you do training monthly and stuff like that?


Much like the phrase “I would never join a club that would have me as a member”, do you really want to join an armed force comprised of soldiers lacking in education?


Don’t make fun of the Marines! Or the Air Force! Or the Navy!


I had a bunch of jokes ready too.


Just a little branch rivalry.

In seriousness, the US Military is far more educated (as a group) than the US population st large. Also white, middle class, and educated dominate the combat arms positions.

It’s a big myth that uneducated, minorities and poor whites provide the bulk of the military. Not sure how that got started.


Navy Times (and I’m sure it was reprinted in all the branch rags) ran an article a few years ago talking about ethnic statistics in the military. At the time (probably hasn’t changed much if at all), the population breakdown of the military was basically a microcosm of American society. IE, the size of each ethnic group in the mil was within a percentage point or so of the population at large. However, when it was broken down into career fields, the numbers skewed considerably. Like ruffian said, combat arms across the board (and especially SOF) was predominantly white by a decent margin. Combat support was (IIRC) pretty close to even, and combat service support was dominated by minority groups.

This was used as an argument to increase minority recruiting into combat arms and SOF, as if there were some policy or other keeping certain groups from going into those career fields.


I’m familiar with the rivalry, haha. It’s why I said I had a bunch of jokes ready. But yeah, you’d hope that the folks out there with weapons have some education. I wouldn’t want to join a fighting force where they waived my education requirements.


If I was 19, ran my own business, and was surrounded by Swedish women, I would not be trying to leave the country to join a foreign military.


Let’s talk more about being an Accountant after dropping out of school After 9th grade!

How does that work? Can I just call myself an accountant in the US of A without a degree from college?

Also, what’s up with Sweden? Its easier to be an accountant than a soldier?