Military Wiki
1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment
(1er Régiment étranger de cavalerie)
Regimental badge of 1er REC
Active 1920 – present
Country  France
Allegiance Flag of legion.svg French Foreign Legion
Branch French Army
Type Armoured Cavalry
Role Reconnaissance & fire support
Size 900 men
Part of 6th Light Armoured Brigade
Garrison/HQ Quartier Labouche, Orange, Vaucluse, France
Nickname(s) Royal étranger
Motto(s) Nec pluribus impar
March Regimental March : Marche du 1er REC
Legion March : Le Boudin
Anniversaries Camerone Day (30 April), Saint-Georges Day and Christmas
Engagements World War II
First Indochina War
Algerian War
Gulf War
Northern Mali conflict
Lt-Col. Jean-Christophe Béchon
Beret badge of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment Insigne de béret du 1er REC.JPG
Abbreviation 1er REC


The 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie, 1er REC) is the only cavalry regiment in the French Foreign Legion. As of 2009 it is the only armoured cavalry regiment of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade.[1] It has been stationed at Quartier Labouche in Orange, Vaucluse, France since it moved from Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria in October 1967.[2]


The regiment was created in Tunisia in 1921[3] around a cadre of Russian legionnaires, and soldiers from the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment. At the time the Legion was an infantry formation, and the idea of a Legion cavalry regiment met with some resistance from the French cavalry. However the regiment was deemed a useful way of making full use of the Legion's Russian White movement veterans, many of whom had extensive light cavalry experience from the Russian Civil War. The regiment was quickly accepted as a highly competent addition to the French cavalry.

The regiment subsequently served in the Indochina War and the Algerian War.

As part of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade the regiment took part in The Gulf War of 1991. They suffered no casualties.[4]

In January 2013, one troop with AMX 10 RC from the regiment was deployed to Mali on a mission, operation Serval, to counter an Islamist offensive against the government and engaged in battle for control of the town of Diabaly.[5]


The regiment is currently divided into 6 squadrons[1] with an estimated manpower of 600 men.

  • Escadron de Commandement et de Logistique (ECL) – Command and Logistics Squadron.
  • Escadron d'éclairage et d'investigation de brigade (EEI) – Brigade Reconnaissance Squadron. (4 troops)
  • 1er Escadron – 1st Squadron (4 combat troops and a command troop)
  • 2e Escadron – 2nd Squadron (4 combat troops and a command troop)
  • 3e Escadron – 3rd Squadron (4 combat troops and a command troop)
  • Escadron d'Aide à l'Engagement (EAE) – anti-tank squadron


Three squadrons are equipped with the AMX 10 RC, an armoured and wheeled vehicle with a 105mm gun.[1] The EEI is equipped with the Panhard VBL.[1]

Commanding officers

  • Colonel Perret (1921–1922)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sala (1922–1923)
  • Colonel Maurel (1923–1925)
  • Colonel Sala (1925–1931)
  • Colonel Burnol (1931–1932)
  • Colonel Bonnefous (1932–1935)
  • Colonel Berger (1935–1940)
  • Colonel Levavasseur (1940–1943)
  • Colonel Miquel (1943–1945)
  • Major Lennuyeux (1945)
  • Colonel Robert (1945–1946)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Marion (1946–1948)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Doré (1948–1949)
  • Lieutenant Colonel de Battisti (1949–1951)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Royer (1951–1952)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Deluc (1952–1953)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Hardoin (1953–1954)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Coussaud de Massignac (1954–1956)
  • Major Ogier de Baulny (1956)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Spitzer (1956–1958)
  • Lieutenant Colonel de Blignères (1958–1960)
  • Lieutenant Colonel de la Chapelle (1960–1961)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Barazer de Lannurien (1961–1962)
  • Lieutenant Colonel de Monplanet (1962–1963)
  • Lieutenant Colonel de Froissard de Broissia (1963–1965)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Ansoborlo (1965–1967)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Bart (1967–1969)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Caillard d'Aillières (1969–1971)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Fesneau (1971–1973)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Lorho (1973–1975)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Devouges (1975–1977)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Le Corre (1977–1979)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Audemard d'Alançon (1979–1981)
  • Lieutenant Colonel de la Presle (1981–1983)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Ansart de Lessan (1983–1985)
  • Colonel Belloir (1985–1987)
  • Colonel Badie (1987–1989)
  • Colonel Ivanoff (1989–1991)
  • Colonel Yves de Kermabon (1991–1993)
  • Colonel Franceschi (1993–1995)
  • Colonel H. Clément-Bollée (1995–1997)
  • Colonel Colas des Francs (1997–1999)
  • Colonel B. Clément-Bollée (1999–2001)
  • Colonel Yakovlev (2001–2003)
  • Colonel de Saint-Chamas (2003–2005)
  • Colonel Windeck (2005–2007)
  • Colonel Dupont (2007–2009)
  • Colonel Gilles Jaron (2009–2011)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Christophe Béchon (2011– )


Battle Honours



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Le régiment". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  2. Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. pp. 47. 
  3. Windrow, Martin (1999). French Foreign Legion 1914–1945. pp. 17. 
  4. Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. pp. 50, 51. 
  5. Harding, Andrew. "Mali Conflict: 'French Fighting Islamists in Mali'". BBC News. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 


  • Porch, Douglas (1991). The French Foreign Legion. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-092308-2. 
  • Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion 1914–1945. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-761-9. 
  • Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-621-3. 

External links

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