The French Foreign Legion (French: Légion étrangère) is a unique elite unit within the French Army established in 1831. It was created as a unit for foreign volunteers, because foreigners were forbidden to enlist in the French Army after the July Revolution in 1830.
The Legion was primarily used to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it also fought in all French wars including the Franco-Prussian War and both World Wars.
Although considered an anachronism by some, the Foreign Legion has remained an important part of the French Army. It has survived three republics, one empire, two World Wars, the rise and fall of mass conscript armies, the dismantling of the French colonial empire and, finally, the French loss of the legion's birthplace, Algeria.
The French Foreign Legion is known as an elite military unit whose training focuses not only on traditional military skills, but also its strong esprit de corps. As its men come from different countries with different cultures, this is a widely accepted solution to strengthen them enough to work as a team. Consequently, training is often described as not only physically hard, but also extremely psychologically stressful.
The 75th Ranger Regiment, the modern incarnation of the United States Army Rangers, is an elite light infantry special operations force of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia. The Regiment is a flexible, highly-trained and rapidly deployable light infantry force with specialized skills that enable them to be employed against a variety of conventional and special operations targets.
The force specializes in airborne, air assault, light infantry and direct action operations, raids, infiltration and exfiltration by air, land or sea, airfield seizure, recovery of personnel and special equipment, and support of general purpose forces (GPF), among other uses. Each Ranger battalion can deploy anywhere in the world within 18 hours' notice. The 75th Ranger Regiment is renowned for being the finest light infantry unit in the world.
An interesting factoid - Duncan Hunter, a current U.S. Congressman from California who is running for the 2008 Republican nomination for President. He served in the 75th Ranger Infantry Regiment (Airborne) in the Vietnam War.