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 to read about the great reasons to continue your service as part of the Legion.