1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment
|1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment
(1er Régiment étranger de cavalerie)
Regimental badge of 1er REC
|Active||1920 – present|
|Role||Reconnaissance & fire support|
|Part of||6th Light Armoured Brigade|
|Garrison/HQ||Camp de Carpiagne (Bouches-du-Rhône) France|
|Motto||Nec pluribus impar|
|March||Regimental March : Marche du 1er REC
Legion March : Le Boudin
|Anniversaries||Camerone Day (30 April), Saint-Georges Day and Christmas|
|Colonel Rémi Bouzereau|
|Beret badge of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment|
The 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (French: 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. It has been stationed at Quartier Labouche in Orange, Vaucluse, France since it moved from Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria in October 1967.
The regiment was created in Tunisia in 1921 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.
As part of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade the regiment took part in The Gulf War of 1991. They suffered no casualties.
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.
The regiment is currently divided into 6 squadrons 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
- Camerone 1863
- Levant 1925–1926
- Morocco 1925–1927
- Ousseltia 1943
- Colmar 1945
- Stuttgart 1945
- First Indochina War 1947–1954
- AFN 1952–1962
- Gulf War 1990–1991
- Croix de guerre 1939–1945 with 3 palms
- Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures with 4 palms
- "Le régiment". Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. p. 47.
- Windrow, Martin (1999). French Foreign Legion 1914–1945. p. 17.
- Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. pp. 50, 51.
- 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.