8th january, presentation of the képi blanc (white cap) to the legionaries

The mission of the French Foreign Legion’s 4th Regiment is to train men from around the world to become legionaries. The key element of this training is the presentation of white kepi (cap) and a ceremony is organised to mark this occasion. For 2019, Lourdes has been chosen.

8th january, presentation of the képi blanc (white cap) to the legionaries

After places like Rocamadour, Senanque Abbey or Mont Saint-Michel, it is on the esplanade of the Sanctuary of Lourdes on 8th January this year, at 3.30 pm (duration 20 minutes), that the white cap will be presented to 65 soldiers gathered in their sections with their commanding officers.

A model of integration

With 1,000 recruits each year and comprising 146 nationalities, this army corps is a model of integration. At the 4th Foreign Regiment (RE), the crucible of the Foreign Legion, the volunteer recruit quickly learns that he has not simply joined an ordinary institution, but his new homeland. This is what the motto states: Legio patria nostra. Recruits are mostly from foreign countries, who in many cases have left behind very turbulent lives. Many of these men come to the Legion looking for a second chance.

In this Bernadette Year, the choice of Lourdes for the presentation of the white cap to all these young people cannot be due to chance. As Father André Cabes, Rector, recalled at a conference on 8th December, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception: “The Church is not an abstract notion for us, it is a family called to gather all people by integrating their differences.” (“Marian Church – Church in dialogue“, Saint-Bernadette hemicycle, 8th December 2018).

Contact :

CDS of the 2nd section
of the 2nd Company of Volunteers
of the 4th Foreign Regiment

Lourdes : Testimony of a French legionnaire seriously wounded in Afghanistan