1er Régiment de
Choc (1st shock regiment) flag, presented during an
arms seizure - January 1997
1st Shock celebrating
Saint Michael - October Source ECPAD
Combatants of today, volunteers
Since the end of the Algerian War
in 1962, France, as a nation, has never again been involved
in any major conflict, be it on the French territory itself
However, whenever it comes to protecting civilians,
especially French citizens, during armed conflicts, French
always participated, either directly or under the banner
of the United Nations.
Some of the soldiers, who served France
within this framework, were killed at the war front, sustained
injuries, or have
had to be cited for their bravery.
These combatants make up what is termed : The Fourth
and Territory concerned
The following territories
are listed as having been overseas battle grounds. Military
Acronym: «OPEX» (overseas operations).
No one can gainsay the fact that
soldiers of overseas campaigns who have been issued the carte
du combattant (ex-servicemen/women card) are fully recognized
They include volunteers like
conscripts and reservists, who participated in military operations,
within semi-professional units, not because they were under
any service-related obligation, but rather because they wilfully
The National Federation of Volunteer Ex-servicemen/women (FNCV),
realizing how unfair conditions for awarding the volunteer
combatant cross were towards these ex-servicemen/women, embarked
on an awareness campaign aimed at bringing the "powers
that be" to see the necessity of recognizing their voluntary
A 1st Shock commando infiltration
mission. Source ECPAD
Thus, during the Senate session
of January 13, 2004, senator Jean-Jacques Hyest, with reference
to the petition filed by the FNCV, pointed out that there
was inequality in the way various fire generations were treated.
Reward volunteer service...
French Minister of Defence, reacting to this issue, made
it clear that the volunteer combatant cross was instituted
to reward those who wilfully opted to join troops at the
battle front, and that this honour reflects the generosity,
solidarity and abnegation, which during the gloomiest period
of our history, made it possible for the integrity of our
Fatherland to be preserved.
Talking about conscripts and reservists
who served as volunteers, Michèle Alliot-Marie crystallized
the keen attention she had been showing towards the fourth
an integral part of the great family of ex-servicemen/women.
Minister expressed how well the logic ensuing from the
debate on the National Federation of Volunteer Ex-servicemen/women
petition, chimed with her resolve to reward conscripts
and reservists who volunteered to serve in overseas campaigns
and who, based on this, have been issued an ex-servicemen/women