French Foreign Legion Prepares for Persian Gulf War

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Arthur Kent
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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The French Foreign Legion is a famed military force composed of foreigners willing to fight in the French Armed Services. During the Persian Gulf War, they took part in ground operations in Iraq.



"French Foreign Legion Prepares for Persian Gulf War." Arthur Kent, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 13 Nov. 1990. NBC Learn. Web. 2 December 2017.


Kent, A. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (1990, November 13). French Foreign Legion Prepares for Persian Gulf War. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"French Foreign Legion Prepares for Persian Gulf War" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 11/13/1990. Accessed Sat Dec 2 2017 from NBC Learn:


French Foreign Legion Prepares for Persian Gulf War

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

While American servicemen and women are wondering how long they'll have to stay in the desert, one fighting force is right at home. After all, they've been there before in myth and in reality. NBC's Arthur Kent tonight, with the French Foreign Legion.

ARTHUR KENT, reporting:

This is not just another foreign face in the desert.

GLEN SLICK: When you join the legion, you start completely from zero. You get a new life, take a new language, and they take your passport, of course.

KENT: Glen Slick is an American bearing arms for President Mitterrand, not President Bush. He's one of 27 nationalities here with the French Foreign Legion. Before they picked up weapons, these six soldiers from six different countries had to learn a new language. Worth it, they say.

SLICK: Hell, why not? The adventure of a lifetime.

KENT: That's if you call practicing for an Iraqi gas attack an adventure. Historically, there's been no shortage of men from around the world who wanted to fight France's foreign wars in Algeria, in Indochina. In the Saudi desert, it's not easy for these Captain Gallants to keep up appearances.

Unidentified Soldier: It's a bit of a wasteland. There's not a lot of adventure and romance. It's not like's in the recruiting brochures.

KENT: But the Legionnaires are as independent as ever. They resist U.S. command and see themselves as a cut above their 4,000 compatriots in the French Rapid Action force.

Unidentified Reporter: Most of the blokes who come have had enough of their civilian lives. They want to get away. They want to do something different.

KENT: French cooking and camaraderie relieves the toughest of living conditions. Still, some legionnaires have their regrets.

SLICK: I was in the Legion before this all broke out, so I just can't leave all these guys, 'cause these are my friends. But I would like to be with the guys, you know, from the States, but it's just too late. I'm already in this army.

KENT: And taking orders from Paris, not Washington. Arthur Kent, NBC News, Northeastern Saudi Arabia.