The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.

The American Legion’s four main pillars of service are:


Foremost, The American Legion was founded by veterans to help veterans after their discharge from military service. Within this pillar can be found American Legion services and programs, such as:

  • Accredited service officers who can provide free VA benefits claims counseling and support
  • Advocacy and stakeholder oversight of the VA health-care system, to include a voice in Washington and throughout the country
  • GI Bill education benefits
  • Volunteer veterans service officers who can refer veterans and their families to agencies, offices and programs that can help them
  • Career services, including a nationwide calendar of job fairs and other events, as well as guidance on veteran business ownership (Veterans Career Center)
  • Support and help for homeless veterans
  • Mentorship and help with Veterans Court
  • Food convoy to support our veterans in our homes here in Idaho
  • Honor Guard services for funerals of veterans
  • Support for veterans coping with PTSD and TBI

SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)


The American Legion’s national security positions and programs are contained in this pillar. The American Legion is a prominent voice of support for U.S. military personnel and reserve components, particularly in the area of quality of life, and benefits. Within this pillar are:

  • Troop support
  • Family Support Network for military and veteran families during deployment
  • Temporary Financial Assistance for military and veteran families with minor children at home
  • Immigration and naturalization
  • Adoption of military units and installations and keeping them here in Idaho
  • Security at military funerals
  • Advocacy on behalf of U.S. military retirees using TRICARE
  • Support for the U.S. State Department and global diplomacy
  • POW/MIA accounting operations and commands
  • Advocacy for women veterans and military personnel
  • Foreign affairs

Children & Youth

The American Legion’s portfolio of youth programs has influenced millions of people over the years. Programs include competitive activities, college scholarships, educational contests, citizenship programs, support for children in need and many local activities and programs. This pillar includes:

  • American Legion Baseball
  • Youth scholarships
  • American Legion Junior Shooting Sports
  • Oratorical Contests and scholarships
  • Boys State and Boys Nation
  • Child Welfare Foundation, Inc.
  • Holiday events for children
  • Flag education programs
  • Sponsorship of Boy Scout units
  • Veterans in the Classroom guest speaking
  • Junior Law Cadet Enforcement program
  • Support and sponsorship of Junior ROTC
  • Many community-based youth programs
  • Support for our children in the classroom


The American Legion is, at heart, a patriotic organization and the nation’s leading authority on U.S. flag education, respect and etiquette. The American Legion promotes good citizenship, respectful expression of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, and marches in patriotic parades and activities. Included in this pillar are:

  • Respect for the U.S. flag
  • Appropriate attention during the National Anthem
  • Support for the Pledge of Allegiance to open public and school gatherings and events
  • Respect for law and order
  • Support for the U.S. Constitution
  • Patriotic community activities and involvement in special events

The Four Pillars of Service are simply an index of values under which many various programs and activities of The American Legion fall. Every local post is a separate corporation with its own ways of fulfilling the pillars of service at the community level. No two posts are exactly alike, as are no two communities, so every program of the organization is not executed at every post. A post may focus on one, some, many or all pillars of service to be effective in its community, based on its needs.