Our organization was founded on the premise that all those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during times of national crisis, regardless of place of service, are eligible to belong to The American Legion.
Our membership is based on period of service, not place of service. Therefore, if you have served at least one day of active duty during the eligibility dates and are still serving in the military after any of the said periods or have been honorably discharged, you may become a member.
Eligibility Dates for Membership in The American Legion:
The president signed the LEGION Act on July 30 after it received bi-partisan support in Congress.
It declares that the United States has been in a state of war since December 7, 1941 – the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. According to the national American Legion headquarters, the Legion’s eligibility criteria immediately changes from seven war eras to two: April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918, and December 7, 1941 to a time later determined by the federal government.
The American Legion sought the war era declaration as a way to honor about 1,600 servicemembers killed or wounded during previously undeclared war periods.
“Recognizing the service of these wartime veterans is the right thing do and it is long overdue,” National Commander Brett Reistad said. “The families of those who were killed or wounded during these wartime acts should take pride in knowing that we recognize their sacrifice and service. Moreover, we are proud to welcome any of the six million living veterans from the previously unrecognized periods into our organization and call them ‘Legionnaires.’”
The declaration means approximately six million more American veterans will be able to access American Legion programs and benefits they previously could not get.
According to The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization has nearly two million members. However, that figure is down from more than 2.7 million members just 20 years ago.
Sons of The American Legion - S.A.L
You are eligible to join the Sons of The American Legion if you are the male descendant (stepsons and adopted sons included) of a veteran who was honorably discharged or died prior to dischage from service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, or the Persian Gulf War(see specific time periods for service above)
The Auxilary is open to all family members of vetersns whose term if service meents the guideliines above.
The Legion Riders welcome all members of the Legion, S.A.L and Auxilary.