Some helpful basics
To join the Foreign Legion, you MUST have formal military experience (not just nongovernmental tactical training or hunting experience), good command of English, and availability to remain in Ukraine for a potentially long period. Otherwise, non-legion fighting options are available. Contact the Legion intake personnel in any case.
Combat experience is NOT required for joining the Foreign Legion.
BEFORE you enter Ukraine:
- Install Signal app on your phone, and establish family/friends contact. (Use WiFi if you don’t have roaming cell service.) WhatsApp and Telegram are not as secure.
- Install offline map program OsmAnd, and the offline full map of Ukraine.
- Mark your border location on the map, then turn off location services.
- Turn off I-message & face time if you have an iPhone.
- Remove your SIM card and store it away. It’s a security risk. Get a Ukrainian one with unlimited data for $8/month. That’s not a typo.
- Put on civilian clothes. Buy now if you brought none.
- If your pack has camo, use a civy rain cover to be discreet. There are Russian spies on both sides of the border.
- Do not bring alcohol or drugs.
- Tell PL and UA border guards you’re joining the Foreign Legion if they ask.
- Local volunteers are available in the white tent to transport you to Legion intake.
- Buy a SIM card. Do not give the phone number to anyone, unless specifically instructed otherwise by Legion intake.
- Reconfirm Signal contact with friends and family via UA cell service. Your Signal phone number will continue to be the original one you registered on Signal, despite the change of SIM card. Your Signal number’s absence on Ukrainian cellular networks inhibits Russian surveillance.
- Put your phone in airplane mode while you’re en route to Legion intake.
- Double check that location services are turned off.
- Never call or text anyone except local Ukrainian stores and services using plain cell phone service. For ALL other calls and texts, use Signal app ONLY.
- Jury is out if you can use your foreign phone on Airplane Mode connected to the UA phone’s hotspot.
- Don’t give your passport or full name to anyone except checkpoint guards, and don’t give any phone number or other contact information to anyone, until you reach Legion intake. There are Russian spies operating in the area.
- Never take photos or videos, and never post messages on Facebook or other social media. This includes “private” pages.
- Never discuss your current location with family and friends. Just say UA, and if you’ve deployed yet.
- Do not collect contact information for fellow soldiers until authorized by Legion intake.
Remember: 37 people died in a Russian cruise missile strike in Yavoriv because somebody violated these opsec rules. If you post a selfie, or google “where am I?”, innocent blood will be on your hands.