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A moment in time

How long do you have to serve on active duty to be eligible to join The American Legion?

Just one day of honorable service during a congressionally determined war era:

  • April 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918 (World War I)
  • Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946 (World War II)
  • June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955 (Korean War)
  • Feb. 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War)
  • Aug. 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984 (Lebanon/Grenada)
  • Dec. 20, 1989 to Jan. 31, 1990 (Panama)
  • Aug. 2, 1990 to today (Gulf War/War On Terrorism)

It has been this way ever since the formation of the Legion in 1919. The feeling is that all those who take the oath of service immediately assume a risk to themselves, and that they are thus all equally deserving.

This means that servicemembers currently on active duty are certainly eligible to be members. Visit www.legion.org/join to read about the great reasons to continue your service as part of the Legion.

Which Legion founder is considered a grandfather of the CIA?

SEE THE ANSWER

How can a Legion post without an Auxiliary unit contribute to the Poppy Program?

SEE THE ANSWER

 

LightOwl

January 3, 2013 - 3:10pm

The "requirements" for joining the AL has been a bone of contention with me since I joined many years ago. I realize that the "rules" were set down many years ago, at the end of "The War to End All Wars". the originators never thinking that there would be anything like the world had just experienced. Well, we of course know different. The requirements then [and remain to this day] were being on active duty "during time of war". Since 11/11/19 we have been involved in many conflicts, as well as years of peace. But Americans nonetheless volunteered for active duty to serve and protect America. Yet these "Grey Era" soldiers are denied membership in the AL. We are supposed to be an organizations of Veterans yet we don't recognize the service of those in the "Grey Eras".
I have been told, "if you don't like it",write a resolution!!!
Why has the "leadership" over the years not recognized this??? The millions of potential new members "lost" or felt "ostracized" by the AL because of "what"??? Leadership??? I'll leave it at that.....

don gibson

January 14, 2014 - 9:13am

I couldn't believe more than the above posting. I just found out last evening at the council meeting that a council member could not join the AL because of this ruling. I am a Viet Nam infantry soldier and this to me is dispicable. To deny an american who served is as bad as not letting the minister say grace, because of a period of time in religion. I will be dropping my membership at the end of this term, even though the AL does many good things.

Ncarr57

January 6, 2013 - 5:18pm

I agree with the above post... We need to change legisltaion for memebership in the Legion.....I was post Vietnam but becasue the war was officially over I cannot be a Legionaire I can only join the auxilary yet i signed my name on the dotted line to protect and serve my country like all the rest.. It needs to be changed to serve ALL veterans...

tengecto

August 18, 2014 - 3:43pm

I was in the indian ocean during the iran crisis in the late 70's USN. War? no...Risk of life? yes...I was first slapped and realized the bias of the legion when my daughter graduated High school and we realized my service did not qualify her for a local Legion scholarship. I'm not sure but if the legion is supported by tax dollars at all but if so this practice is probably illegal as well as illogical.

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