Stanislav Gazdík

* 1970  

  • “I always told myself that it’s better to get somewhere, go through that and then leave, rather than not being there to form an opinion about it. In the Legion, there were a lot of people who ran away and then they said: ‘You know, it was like this and that.’ But they haven’t really been anywhere. I was there and stayed for fifteen years. I was leaving with my head held high. One must sacrifice some things when he wants to accomplish something. (...) I always wanted to join the special forces.”

  • “The legionnaires spill their blood for their nation, which is France. They also changed the legislation so that they would rather give citizenship to someone who served in the Legion than to any tramp that asks for it. As I worked at the ‘gestapo’ I realized that a lot of people, for example the Chinese, took advantage of that. They served only for the necessary five years and then asked for a French passport and stayed in France. That is also kind of fulfilling a dream. So why do people join? First, they want to pursue a military career, then they want to save some money or get the passport, and in the third category, there are people who just join, they don’t really know why.”

  • “When I finished the army service, I was wondering what to do. I wanted to join the police or the army but it was kind of a pointless period. In the army, they said that I couldn’t join the units that had been set up by the UN in the 90s. They had some waiting lists and said that I couldn’t join for the time being. I also wanted to join the police, the URNA (special units of rapid involvement). I was told I didn’t pass the psychological tests. I later asked one of my friends who worked at the police to find out, why I wasn’t admitted, because I didn’t think I would be so stupid not to pass the psychological tests. He told me I was one of the best ones, but I was fresh out of the school and they would have to pay some remuneration, so it was easier to tell me that I didn’t pass the tests. So I told myself: ‘When they don’t want me at home, I’ll try my luck somewhere else.’ I read an article about the special units of the Foreign Legion (formerly called CRAP). So I found out how to apply, and with a few of my friends who also wanted to join, we left on 8th of May 1991.”

  • “I was on a leave when the revolution came. When you were out of the army, you didn’t really care about television and other things. Girls were usually the thing that we were interested in when we had some time off. I came to Prague and had a red beret. When I arrived at the main station, everybody was staring at me, and I was staring at them. Flags everywhere – I didn’t know that there was any revolution at all. I went to the toilet and somebody came to me and said: ‘What were you doing at the Wenceslas square (meant Národní třída – author’s note)?’ – ‘What Wenceslas square? I just came from the barracks.’ – ‘It’s revolution and you were beating us!’ So I told him that I just came and didn’t beat anybody up. But I took my beret off not to provoke anybody. Later I found out what was going on. Changes in the army after the revolution? There were no more trainings, no proper preparation. They sent us somewhere as relief labor. That had nothing to do with military training”

  • “The hardest mission for me, both physically and mentally, was at the bridge in Mitrovica. My job was to train the police and security forces. We were a commando with ten members and our task was to secure people who lead the protests and various other things. We served for four months and we were constantly on alert. We slept like ninjas, in our bulletproof vests to be ready to get up anytime somebody called us. It was hard. The second day after we came to Mitrovica, they staged a riot just to see how we operate and what our strategy was.”

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I use my past for a better future and live for today.

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Stanislav Gazdík

A former Sergent Chief of the French Foreign Legion Special Forces, Stanislav Gazdík was born in 1970 in Karviná. He served his compulsory army service from 1989 to 1991, at the end of the Communist Regime. After returning home, he decided to take advantage of his newly acquired freedom, and in May 1991, he left to join the French Foreign Legion. He was placed in the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment CL (2.REP). In 1994 he was promoted, and until 2003, he served at the special unit of the regiment - CRAP (GCP). He took part in several missions to Africa and the former Yugoslavia. From 2003 to 2006, after he left the legion, he served in the so called „Gestapo,“ a unit responsible for the recruitment of new legionnaires. In 2006, he established a private company, Operational Defense Group s.r.o., which specializes in individual and customized training in the area of corporal self defense.