1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment
The 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment is one of three regiments in the French Army Special Forces Brigade
French Army Special Forces Brigade
The Army Special Forces Brigade is the French Army's special forces unit. It is based in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques.- History :The BFST is the heir of the Groupement Spécial Autonome created in 1997 and then commanded the 1er RPIMa and a special operations flight belonging to the 4e Régiment...

. Based in Bayonne
Bayonne is a city and commune in south-western France at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, of which it is a sub-prefecture...

 in the local Citadel. They have operated all over the world.

Unit Specialization

  • CTLO (counter terrorism and hostages rescue teams)
  • GDC (Bodyguard Garde du Corps)
  • THP (Snipers Tireurs Haute Précision)
  • RCO (pathfinders – Rapas Chuteurs Opérationnels)
  • PRS (Desert special reconnaissance patrols Patrouilles de Reconnaissances Speciales)
  • RPO (combatdivers Rapas Plongeurs Offensifs)
  • Moutain and Jungle Warfare
  • Explosives and demolition


The origins of the 1er RPIMa dates back to the Second World War. The Regiment was first formed as the 1ère Compagnie d’Infanterie de l’Air in Britain, redesignated 1ère Compagnie de Chasseurs Parachutistes (1e CCP) under Captain Georges Bergé
Georges Bergé
Georges Roger Pierre Bergé was a French Army general who served during World War II. He enlisted in the Free French Forces, where he took command of the 1re compagnie de chasseurs parachutistes . He is mentioned by David Stirling as one of the co-founders of the Special Air Service...

. It consisted of around 50 paratroopers when they were transferred to David Stirling's
David Stirling
Colonel Sir Archibald David Stirling, DSO, DFC, OBE was a Scottish laird, mountaineer, World War II British Army officer, and the founder of the Special Air Service.-Life before the war:...

 Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 in the North African campaign; in this unit, they took part in successful operations in Africa, Crete, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Today, this SAS heritage still shows in the regimental insignia and the regimental motto "Qui Ose Gagne" (Who Dares Wins). After completing the SAS training course they were called French Squadron SAS. The regiment is the heir to the two Free French Special Air Service (SAS): 3 SAS (3e RCP) and 4 SAS (2e RCP).
Following the end of World War II, 3 and 4 SAS was handed over to the French Army on 1 October 1945.
The regiment was restructured after returning from Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 and acted as training depot for the colonial parachute force during the Algerian War. It remained in this role until 1974 when it became a Special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...


Organisation & Structure

Due to its long history with the British Special Air Service much of the 1er RPIMa core aspects are based upon the British SAS. Each company specialises in a particular area such as maritime, air ops/pathfinder, mobility.
  • Three main Combat Companies RAPAS (Recherche Aéroportée et Actions Spécialisées (RAPAS) which translates to Airborne Reconnaissance and Special Action.
    • 1e Compagnie(Pathfinders / Divers / Snipers)
    • 2e Compagnie (Mountain and jungle specialists)
    • 3e Compagnie (Mobility / Desert ops)
    • 4e Compagnie (Urban - Counter terrorism and Bodyguards)

There are also one Command and Logistic Company

Selection & Training

Officers and NCOs joining the regiment have to attend the same selection and training as enlisted.

Enlisted: Each soldier enlisted in the French army can try to join the 1er RPIMA, between 1 and 3 years of active duty, if they are medically OK (airborne agreement).

First step is a profile selection: Candidates will be selected regarding unit requirements and personal file (e.g : if the regiment needs some mountain specialists, they will ask for more mountain troopers to come for the selection). Candidates selected must attend the two weeks basic airborne training prior the SF training, for those who are not already enlisted in an airborne regiment.

Second step of selection is "adaptation training" and "stage commando" during twelve weeks. Candidates must be above average to continue the training. Most of failures and RTU occur during this phase.

Last step of selection is the "stage CTE RAPAS" during six months. After completion of this "stage", candidates are fully assigned to the regiment as special force soldier. They will attend additional training to become specialists (bodyguard, pathfinders, etc)


  • May, 1941: 1st Air Infantry Company
  • June, 1943: 1st Air Infantry Battalion
  • March, 2011, Libya: direct action & unconventional warfare e.g. 1e Cie, 3e Cie

Battle Honours

  • Crete 1942
    Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

  • Libye 1942
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

  • Sud Tunisien 1943
    Tunisia Campaign
    The Tunisia Campaign was a series of battles that took place in Tunisia during the North African Campaign of the Second World War, between Axis and Allied forces. The Allies consisted of British Imperial Forces, including Polish and Greek contingents, with American and French corps...

  • France 1944
  • Ardennes Belges 1945
    Battle of the Bulge
    The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

  • Hollande 1945
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

  • Indochine 1946-1954
    First Indochina War
    The First Indochina War was fought in French Indochina from December 19, 1946, until August 1, 1954, between the French Union's French Far East...

  • 2011 Libyan uprising


  • Cross of the Légion d'honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

  • Cross of the Libération
    Ordre de la Libération
    The Ordre de la Libération is a French Order awarded to heroes of the Liberation of France during World War II. It is an exceptional honor, the second highest after the Légion d’Honneur and only a small number of people and military units have received it, exclusively for deeds accomplished...

  • Croix de guerre 1939-1945
    Croix de guerre 1939-1945 (France)
    The Croix de guerre 1939–1945 is a French military decoration created on September 26, 1939, to honour people who fought with the Allies against the Axis force at any time during World War II.-Recipients:...

     with 6 palms
  • Croix de guerre des Théatres d'Opérations Exterieures
    Croix de guerre des Théatres d'Opérations Exterieures
    The Croix de guerre des théâtres d’opérations extérieures is a French medal rewarded for military service in foreign countries. It is granted to individuals who have received citations for their actions while engaged in military service overseas.-History:...

     with 3 palms
  • Croix de guerre (Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

  • Bronze Star
    Bronze Star Medal
    The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  • Bronze Lion
    Bronze Lion
    The Bronze Lion is a high Royal Dutch award, intended for servicemen who have shown extreme bravery and leadership in battle favouring The Netherlands; in some special cases it can however be awarded to Dutch or foreign civilians. It was first created in 1944 and has since been issued 1210 times...

    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...


External links

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