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2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment
(2ème Régiment étranger d'infanterie)
File:Insignia of the 2e REI.jpg
Regimental badge of 2eREI
Active 3 Apr 1841 – 1 Apr 1943
1 Aug 1945 – 1 Jan 1968
1 Sept 1972 – Present
Country  France
Branch French Army
Type Infantry
Role Mechanized infantry
Size 1300 men
Part of 6th Light Armored Brigade
Garrison/HQ Nîmes, France
Nickname(s) 2e Étranger
Motto(s) Être prêt ("Be ready")
Colors Green and Red
March Anne-Marie du "2"
Mascot(s) Tapanar (mule)
Anniversaries Camerone Day (April 30) and El-Moungar day (2 September)
Engagements Battle of El-Moungar
Colonel Eric Ozanne
François Certain Canrobert
Patrice MacMahon
Beret badge of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment Insigne de béret du 2e RE Type 3.jpg
Abbreviation 2e REI

The 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment Étranger d'Infanterie, 2e REI) is an infantry regiment of the French Foreign Legion in the French Army. It is one of two mechanized infantry regiments of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade[1] It is currently stationed at Quartier Colonel de Chabrières, Nimes in the south of France.[2]

A very mobile infantry regiment, it can be sent to any part of the world through naval or air means. The Regiment has taken on the responsibility of field testing new equipment for the French Army as whole.[3]


The original 2nd Regiment was raised on April 3, 1841.[4] It became the 2nd Foreign Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment Étranger, 2e RE) in 1856.[4] Took part in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870–71.

The regiment was redesignated as the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment Étranger d'Infanterie, 2e REI) in 1922.[4] It was disbanded on April 1, 1943 with its remaining men transferred to the RMLE.


On August 1, 1945 a training regiment was raised known as the Régiment de marche de la Légion Etrangère d'Extrême-Orient (RMLE/EO).[4] On January 1, 1946 this was renamed 2e Régiment Étranger d'Infanterie and was committed to action in Indo-China until 1954.[4]


After returning to North Africa, the regiment participated in the Algerian War from 1956 to 1962.[4] It was disbanded in 1968.[4]


A new 2nd Foreign Regiment was formed 1 September 1972 in Corsica.[4] The unit was re-designated as the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment on 1 July 1980.[4] In 1986 elements of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment were deployed to Chad as part of Operation Sparrowhawk (Opération Epervie).[5] It has participated in several recent conflicts, most notably in the Gulf War (1991), in Bosnia, Chad and other parts of Africa.[2] In 2006 elements of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment deployed as part of the French contingent of the ISAF.[5]


The regiment is composed of around 1230 men organised into 10 companies, thus making it the largest regiment of the French army.[1]

  • Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique (CCL) – Command and Logistics Company
  • Compagnie d'Administration et de Soutien (CAS) – Administrative and Support Company
  • 1er Compagnie de Combat (1er Cie) – 1st Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 2e Compagnie de Combat (2e Cie) – 2nd Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 3e Compagnie de Combat (3e Cie) – 3rd Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 4e Compagnie de Combat (4e Cie) – 4th Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 5e Compagnie de Combat (5e Cie) – 5th Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • Compagnie Antichar (CAC) – Anti-Tank Company (4 sections)
  • Compagnie d'Eclairage et d'Appui (CEA) – Reconnaissance and Support Company (3 sections)
    • Section de reconnaissance régimentaire (SRR) – Regimental Recce Section (VBL)
    • Section antichars (SAC) – Anti-Tank Section (Milan)
    • Section de tireurs d'élite (STE) – Sniper Section (PGM 12.7mm)
  • Compagnie de reserve (8 Cie) – 8th Reserve Company


  • Colonel Servanckx (1972–1974)
  • Colonel Gilbert (1974–1976)
  • Colonel Mougin (1976–1978)
  • Colonel Liege (1978-19800)
  • Colonel de Montlebert (1980–1982)
  • Colonel de Lajudie (1982–1984)
  • Colonel François (1984–1986)
  • Colonel Laffly (1986–1988)
  • Colonel Soubirou (1988–1990)
  • Colonel Derville (1990–1992)
  • Colonel de Richoufftz de Manin (1992–1994)
  • Colonel Lecerf (1994–1996)
  • Colonel Verna (1996–1998)
  • Colonel Bontoux (1998–2000)
  • Colonel Bras (2000–2002)
  • Colonel Margail (2002–2004)
  • Colonel de Reviers de Mauny (2004–2006)
  • Colonel Gillet (2006–2008)


Battle Honours




  •  United Kingdom – The Rifles (Bond of Friendship)



  • Porch, Douglas. The French Foreign Legion. Harper Collins, New York, 1991. 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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