The 1st Foreign Regiment (French: 1er Régiment étranger, 1er RE) is the oldest and most senior regiment of the French Foreign Legion.
The regiment is also in charge of special institutions of the legion to include the magazine Képi Blanc, the Legion's Athletics Team (ATHLEG) and the Military band.
The Legion retook since 1831 the tradition of Pionniers.
The 1st Regiment of the Foreign Legion was created in 1841 based on 3 battalions in the newly created 1831 Foreign Legion. The 1st Regiment of the Foreign Legion became in 1855 the 1st Regiment of the 1st Foreign Legion. This regimet merged with the 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e R.E.), (1856-1861) in 1859 and became the Foreign Regiment (R.E), (1862-1875), then came the 1st and 2nd battalion of the Foreign Legion (L.E), (1875-1884) which produced the 1st Foreign Regiment of 1885 that consequently became the 1st Foreign Infantry Regiment in 1922 and the 1st Foreign Marching Infantry Regiment (French: 1er Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie de Marche, 1er R.E.I.M) in 1943.
The 1st Foreign Regiment (1er R.E.) (1856-1861) was created based on the 1st and 2nd Foreign Regiments of the 2nd Foreign Legion.
The 1st Foreign Regiment (1er R.E) (1955–present) was created based on the recreated 1st Foreign Infantry Regiment (1946-1955). This 1st Foreign Regiment gave formation on September 1, 1972 to the Foreign Legion Groupment (G.L.E) which became the Foreign Legion Command (C.O.M.L.E) on July 1, 1984. With the Foreign Legion Command, the 1st Foreign Regiment constitute the <<Maison Mère>> (Mother House) of the Foreign Legion.
This expression inherited from Sidi Bel Abbès came from the primordial role the regiment played in conserving tradition and rendering the 1st Foreign Regiment a genuine turning plateau for the ensemble of the Foreign Legion. Quartier (garrison) Raphaël Vienot of Aubagne and Sidi Bel Abbès were both named in honor of colonel Viénot. Aubagne also houses the French Foreign Legion Museum.
Created in 1841 and stationed in Aubagne since 1962, the 1st Foreign Regiment is the patron of all Foreign Legion regiments. Beyond this historical aspect, the 1st Foreign Regiment represents a major cornerstone in the career paths of legionnaires. The legionnaires initiate their careers from the 1st Foreign Regiment at the selection center of incorporation while also confirming successful return upon completion of basic training before deploying to a legion operational regiment. Legionnaires also pass by the 1st Foreign Regiment each time a posting of a regiment changes, and also finalize in the same regiment their departure formalities at the end of active duty service.
The 1st Foreign Regiment, is a regiment with essentially an administrative vocation which major missions are the support of the Foreign Legion and the Foreign Legion Command. However, during exterior and interior misson deployments requirements of units and regiments of the legion; the 1st Foreign Regiment usually also dispatches particular individuals or teams of specialists (O.M.L.T). In addition, the foreign regiment like all regiments of the French Army, does also engage in the alert phase mission of Vigipirate. The 1st Foreign Regiment also dispatches and supports world humanitarian missions around the globe during natural catastrophe and disasters.
The regiment consists of three companies, as follows:Pionniers Sections of Tradition
Compagnie de Commandement et des Services Régimentaire (CCSR) - Regimental Command and Services Company
Compagnie des Services de la Légion Étrangère (CSLE) - Foreign Legion Services Company
Compagnie Administrative du Personnel de la Légion Étrangère (CAPLE) - Foreign Legion Personnel Administration Company
It also runs the following:Institution des Invalides de la Légion Étrangère (IILE) à Puyloubier - Foreign Legion Invalid Institution, at Puyloubier
Centre d’Hébergement et d’Accueil de la Légion Étrangère (CHALE) à la Ciotat - Foreign Legion Accommodation & Welcome Center, at Ciotat
Centre des Permissionnaires de la Légion Étrangère de la Malmousque (CPLEM) à Marseille - Foreign Legion Leave Center, at Malmousque
Also reported within the regiment is the Foreign Legion Emergency Staff and Statistics Division, a Legion intelligence section.
The insignia of the 1st Foreign Infantry Regiment, (1er R.E.I), (1950-1955) retook the symbolics of the Foreign Legion with the grenade of 7 flames and the green, red colors of the legion. The regiment is represented inside the grenade while the globe commemorates the relic of the Foreign Legion in Sidi Bel Abbès.
The current insignia of the 1st Foreign Regiment, (1er R.E), retook the symbolic ruban of the Commemorative medal of the Mexico Expedition created in 1863. This insignia was initially destined for the 3rd company of the 4th Foreign Regiment in 1936. The insignia became that of the Autonomous Group of the Foreign Legion, (G.A.L.E) and was then adopted by the 1st Foreign Regiment, (1er R.E.) in 1955.
The insignia makes reference to a white diamond shape on which figures the arms of Mexico (a black Circaetus holding a serpent) and a Roman saltire with Foreign Legion and Mexican colors.
Chant de Marche : Nous sommes tous des volontaires featuring:Legion of Honour on April 28, 1906
Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (France) with 1 palm
Gold Medal of the City of Milan since March 9, 1909
Cross with swords of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Dahomy-Maroc 1892-1907, 1925
Captain Jean Danjou
Peter I of Serbia
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
Brigadier General Giuseppe Garibaldi II with his 5 brothers, 2 of whom were killed in combats at Argonne in 1915.