How large is the Sons of The American Legion?
Currently, there are more than 317,000 members of the SAL in this country and abroad.
What is the administrative structure of the SAL?
The squadron is the basic level of membership in our organization. Different states (detachments) use different ways of grouping numbers of squadrons together. In most states, squadrons are grouped geographically and report to their own districts (also called areas or divisions). All districts (or areas or divisions) report to the state headquarters, referred to as a detachment. All state detachments report to the National Headquarters. In addition to the 50 state detachments in the U.S., there are also detachments in France, Mexico, Philippines and Puerto Rico.
What is the main purpose of the SAL?
The mission of the SAL is to support veterans and their families and the policies of our parent organization, The American Legion. Virtually everything that involves the SAL could be grouped under three areas: 1) support for veterans and their families, 2) promoting patriotism and Americanism and 3) promoting programs which benefit the youth of our country.
When was the SAL founded?
The American Legion established the Sons of The American Legion in 1932.
Why would someone want to join the SAL?
For many, membership in the SAL has allowed them to become involved in American Legion programs alongside their fathers. Others join out of respect for their parents' and grandparents' service to our country in the military. Many younger members get involved and learn valuable leadership skills involving organization, public speaking, and negotiating, budgeting and fundraising skills. Membership in our organization also provides individuals with opportunities to forge lifelong friendships with people who share a common bond.
Who runs the SAL?
The governing legislative body of the SAL is its National Convention. Detachments (states) send representatives to the National Convention each year to elect national officers and conduct the business of the organization. Between conventions, authority is vested in the National Executive Committee, also made up of elected representatives from each detachment. The NEC meets twice annually. Nationally elected officers include the National Commander and five National Vice Commanders (responsible for detachments in their own regions). The National Chaplain and the National Sergeant at-Arms are appointed positions.
Child Welfare FAQs
What is the CWF?
The Child Welfare Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation which has two primary purposes. First, to contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children and youth through the dissemination of knowledge about new and innovative organizations. Second, the CWF makes wider and more effective use of knowledge already possessed by well-established organizations. To attain these goals, the CWF raises money and awards grants to organizations which help children. The CWF is governed by its board of directors and a national chairman. All administrative costs of the Child Welfare Foundation are borne by The American Legion so that 100% of all money raised for the Foundation is used exclusively for grants.
How does an organization get a grant from the CWF?
Any organization interested in being considered for a CWF grant must obtain a grant application form from the National Headquarters, fill it out and return it.
How can I contact the CWF?
Questions, comments and donations can be sent to:
The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation
P.O. Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Does the CWF operate on a calendar year or a fiscal year?
The CWF operates on a fiscal year, which runs from June 1 through May 31.
I hear the SAL is a major contributor to the CWF. Is this true?
Yes. The Sons of The American Legion is the single largest contributor to the CWF, having contributed more than $8 million since 1988.
Can donations be made to the CWF as a memorial?
Yes. Memorial certificates are made for donations of $20 or more. Donations of $300 or more are recognized with plaques.
How can we get CWF collection canisters, coffee cups and other CWF items to sell?
Contact the National Headquarters by phone: (317) 630-1202 and ask for the Child Welfare Foundation.
Can we get awards for selling CWF items?
Yes. Every year at the National Convention, the National Chairman gives out certificates to detachments, districts, squadrons and individual members who have made significant donations to the CWF. Awards are also given out to recognize the detachments which has made the largest per capita donations. These awards are given out at the National Convention:
-Garland R. Murphy, Jr. Award, for the detachment with the highest money donations
-Udie Grant Award, for the top Legion Family donation
-Excellence Award, largest per capita
-Meritorious Achievement Award
-Largest Donation per Region
All male descendants, adopted sons and stepsons of members of The American Legion, and such male descendants of veterans who died in service during World War I or since December 7, 1941, during the delimiting periods set forth in Article IV, Section 1, of the National Constitution of The American Legion or who died subsequent to their honorable discharge from such service, shall be eligible for membership in the Sons of The American Legion.
There shall be no form or class of membership except an active membership.
Are girls or women eligible to join the SAL?
No. Only males are eligible to join the SAL. Women who are veterans and are eligible to join The American Legion are welcome and encouraged to do so. The American Legion Auxiliary was established to provide Legion Family membership for female relatives of Legionnaires.
How can I join the SAL?
You should check with someone at the American Legion Post nearest you. There is a good chance that post will have its own SAL squadron. If not, contact SAL National Headquarters for information about finding a nearby squadron.
I am a member of The American Legion. Can I also belong to the SAL?
Yes! Many veterans who are eligible for membership in The American Legion are also eligible to join the SAL. We call these individuals dual members. They are quite often an important link between the SAL and the American Legion Post in their hometowns.
How much does it cost to belong to the SAL?
Each squadron establishes its dues requirements. Annual dues normally run between $10 and $30.
I am moving to a new town and want to transfer my membership there. How do I get a new card?
1) Go here: https://mylegion.org
2) Click on radio button indicating you are SAL
3) Type in your member ID and your last name
4) Click on “Continue” and you’ll be there.
The American Legion offers programs for honorary memberships and "Paid Up For Life" (PUFL). Does the SAL offer these same membership programs?
Not really. Squadrons that want to honor an individual with an honorary membership must take care of renewing that individual's membership annually. There is no way to pre-pay for future years' memberships. Also, there is no program for an individual to make a lump-sum payment that will cover his membership for the rest of his life.
Can an SAL member sign up a new American Legion member and vice versa?
Yes. The same applies to Auxiliary membership.
How can I become more involved in assisting with veterans' issues in my community?
The American Legion elects individuals to serve as service officers at the local, district, state and national levels. There are many established American Legion programs to assist veterans. Contact an American Legion service officer in your area and find out where your assistance might be needed.
What is the National Update?
National Update is the official newsletter of the Sons of The American Legion. It is emailed to members every other month. The newsletter contains information of interest and importance to members at all levels of the organization.
Can I submit information about my Squadron/Detachment for publication?
Yes! Anyone is welcome to submit ideas, stories, newspaper clippings, photos, etc. for consideration. We can never guarantee that everything sent in will get published, but we do our best to include information from as many sources as possible. We want to spread the word about what individuals, squadrons, districts and detachments are doing to further the work of The American Legion and the Sons of The American Legion. If you have something you think should be included in an upcoming issue of the National Update, e-mail it to American Legion Assistant Editor Andy Proffet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why am I not getting my newsletter?
Double-check that you are subscribed to receive the newsletter. Go to Legion.org/Newsletters and follow the directions.