Charles Fréger had the idea of photographing every existing type of uniform in the French Foreign Legion. Having made the inventory, which gave him access to every regiment in France and Corsica, he was given permission to carry out his artistic project, the end result of which was the series Légionnaires. It consists of three sets. The first is of volunteers; the second is of the Pioneer Corps, also known as Sappers; the third set is the uniforms. The photos of the volunteers are half-length and the subjects are bare-chested. There was no erotic intention in this decision; the idea was to evoke the special place that volunteers occupy in the French Foreign Legion. They are not yet legionnaires and have to undergo intensive training, often stripped to the waist. The nakedness expresses the power relationship exerted by the constituent body of the Legion on the body of the enlisted volunteer who, for his part, stands alone, stripped of his former identity and yet to receive a new one. Then come the Pioneers, who were photographed at the Fort de Nogent-sur-Marne while they were preparing for the 14 July parade in the Champs-Élysées. They wear rows of medals on their leather sapper’s aprons, as evidence of their pedigree. Legionnaires in kit come next. The photographer picked the most functional uniforms: bomb disposal expert, tank driver with infrared visor, and parachutist with signalling tool. The uniforms here obliterate everything – a reflection of the spirit of the Legion, which insists on the absolute primacy of the group over the individual, who is gradually brought into line.