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Volunteering in the Armed Forces

Verified 29 avril 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Volunteering in the armed forces allows young French people to get started in the arms and defence trades. As a volunteer, you commit for a period of 1 year. You can serve in the Army, the Air Force, the National Navy, the National Gendarmerie or the Armed Forces Health Service. You receive a monthly balance and benefits in kind (meals, transportation).

Volunteering in the armed forces allows young French people to get started in the arms and defence trades.

You enlist with one of the following armies:

  • Army
  • National Marine
  • National Gendarmerie
  • Air Force
  • Army Health Service

The duration of the engagement is 1 year.

The volunteer receives a monthly pay (i.e. a salary) and can advance in grade, subject to conditions.

Volunteer access in the military is selective. It depends on:

  • Number of posts proposed
  • Physical tests
  • School skills (depending on the proposed position) for aspirants

If you have any doubts about your military vocation, you can request a volunteer period before signing a contract of voluntary service in the armed forces . Only the contract of engagement will make you a professional soldier.

To volunteer in the armed forces, you must meet the following 5 conditions:

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Army

To register, please contact the Armed Forces Recruitment and Information Centre (Cirfa).

National Marine

To register, you must contact an Armed Forces Information and Recruitment Centre (Cirfa).

Air Force

To register, you must contact an Armed Forces Information and Recruitment Centre (Cirfa).

National Gendarmerie

To register, you must contact the National Gendarmerie.

You must meet conditions and participate in selection tests.

Who shall I contact

Army Health Service

To apply, you must contact the Radiation and Training Section of the Military Reserve (SeRFRéM) of the Army Health Service nearest you.

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Army

As a volunteer, you sign a contract with the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

This contract is for a period of 1 Year.

You are subject to a 3-month trial period (renewable once).

The military authority or you may terminate your contract without notice during the trial period.

If you wish to renew your contract, you must make a written request 1 month before the end of the contract with the service where the registration was made.

National Marine

As a volunteer, you sign a contract with the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

This contract is for a period of 1 Year.

You are subject to a 3-month trial period (renewable once).

The military authority or you may terminate your contract without notice during the trial period.

If you wish to renew your contract, you must make a written request 1 month before the end of the contract with the service where the registration was made.

Air Force

As a volunteer, you sign a contract with the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

This contract is for a period of 1 Year.

You are subject to a 3-month trial period (renewable once).

The military authority or you may terminate your contract without notice during the trial period.

If you wish to renew your contract, you must make a written request 1 month before the end of the contract with the service where the registration was made.

National Gendarmerie

As a volunteer, you sign a contract with the Ministry of the Interior.

This contract is for a period of 1 Year.

You are subject to a 3-month trial period (renewable once).

The military authority or you may terminate your contract without notice during the trial period.

If you wish to renew your contract, you must make a written request 1 month before the end of the contract with the service where the registration was made.

Army Health Service

As a volunteer, you sign a contract with the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

This contract is for a period of 1 Year.

You are subject to a 3-month trial period, renewable once.

The military authority or you may terminate your contract without notice during the trial period.

If you wish to renew your contract, you must make a written request 1 month before the end of the contract with the service where the registration was made.

Applicable

The volunteer is subject to the general discipline regulations in the armed forces. This regulation defines the rights and duties common to all military personnel in matters of discipline.

The volunteer is also subject to military permission.

The volunteer receives a monthly balance.

Monthly balance amount

Grades

Monthly balance

Soldier

€743.54

Corporal

€771.81

Master Corporal

€814.09

Sergeant

€856.52

Sucker

€880.04

It also benefits from various services in kind (meals, transport).

Volunteer Progress

The volunteer initially joins as a soldier.

He can then be promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Finally, he may be appointed to the rank of aspirant if he has completed training.

  Please note : the volunteer can obtain Validation of Experience (VAE) for his experience in volunteering.

Early termination of contract

The volunteer contract shall end before its expiry in the following cases:

  • Professional engagement in the military
  • Health reason
  • Discipline
  • Loss of French nationality

  FYI : the volunteer may request the early termination of his contract in writing.

Operational reserve integration

If the volunteer is carried out until the end of the contract, the volunteer can then integrate the operational reserve.