New legionnaire recruits boost numbers in Ronda to almost a thousand
Armed Forces ·
The Legion is one of the most prestigious military units in the Spanish Army and the recruits - which included more women than in previous years - come from all over Spain
Friday, 9 June 2023, 12:20
In a ceremony on Wednesday 7 June, the Spanish Legion in Ronda added 88 new legionnaires to its main units in the Malaga province town. Specifically, some 56 legionnaires will form part of the Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs) Cavalry Group, which continues to grow after the creation of a third squadron at the beginning of this year.
The Legion has now close to a thousand troops in Ronda. The largest unit is that of the X Bandera of the 4th Tercio which has just returned from a six-month UN mission in southern Lebanon.
The new legionnaires began their training approximately five months ago at the troop training centres in Cáceres and San Fernando. Since then they have spent four weeks in Ronda, where they have acquired theoretical and practical knowledge about one of the most prestigious military units of the Spanish Army.
On Wednesday, the Patio de Armas parade ground of the Ronda barracks hosted a ceremony presided over by Colonel Francisco José Paúl, head of the Alejandro Farnesio Regiment (Tercio), 4th of the Legion. The aspiring legionnaires began by answering questions related to the history of this unit, such as the date of foundation of the X Flag (Bandera) Millán-Astray, currently based in Ronda, or the name of the first legionnaire to die in combat – Baltarsar Queija de la Vega.
Some 500 family members attended the ceremony as their loved ones received the legionnaire’s cap from commanders of the Legion's units in Ronda. The ceremony continued with the singing of the Legionnaire's song and closed with a parade.
Traditionally, among the new recruits, the legionnaire who has excelled is usually singled out. In this case, it was Ignacio Barón from Seville. "It's been a great time, the period we've spent in Ronda. They have taught us ... everything a legionnaire needs," he said. Barón added that he chose to be a legionnaire "because it is the elite unit and I wanted to belong to the X Bandera (flag). I still have a lot to learn about the history of the Legion, its values, its traditions”.
The new legionnaires come from all over Spain, although the number of Ronda residents who have chosen to join the famous force is noteworthy. This year’s new recruits also included many more women than in previous years.
Colonel Paúl said: "It takes many months of training before they actually receive their legionnaire caps. They are young people who have chosen the military profession and it is an honour for them. It is a very important day for them, almost like the swearing in of the flag.”