Am I eligible to join?
To be eligible, you must be one of the following:
The male descendant (includes stepsons and adopted sons) of a current member of The American Legion.
The male descendant (stepsons and adopted sons included) of a veteran who died in service during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, or the Persian Gulf War (see Eligibility Dates below).
The male descendant (stepsons and adopted sons included) of a veteran who died subsequent to (after) his or her honorable discharge from service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, or the Persian Gulf War (see Eligibility Dates below).
What are the Active Duty Service Eligibility Dates?
Potential S.A.L. members should use these dates to determine if their parents or grandparents are/were eligible for membership in The American Legion.
(April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918) World War I
(December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946) World War II
(June 25, 1950 – January 31, 1955) Korean War
(February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975) Vietnam War
(August 24, 1982 – July 31,1984) Lebanon/Grenada
(December 20, 1989 – January 31, 1990) Operation Just Cause
(August 2, 1990 – Present)* Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Merchant Marines 12/7/41 – 8/15/45 (Only eligibility)
I am eligible to join, now how do I prove it?
The American Legion establishes proof of eligibility based on a DD-214 form. The DD-214, or DD Form 214 is a document of the United States armed forces issued by the Department of Defense upon a military service member’s separation or discharge from the active duty military.
The full name of the document is “Defense Department Form 214”, however the document is often shortened to be called a DD-214, DD Form 214 or simply as a “sep doc”. A DD-214 is also commonly referred to as “Discharge Papers”, however this is slightly misleading as the document is more often issued for release from active duty and transfers to the inactive reserves than it is for final discharge from the military.
DD-214 is widely regarded as one of the most important documents in the military as it is a complete record of a service member’s time in the military, awards and medals, and other pertinent service information such as promotions, combat service or overseas service, and Military Occupational Specialty identifiers. DD-214 is commonly used by various government agencies, chief among them the Department of Veterans Affairs, to secure veteran benefits.
Where can I find the DD-214 form?
If the veteran through whom you qualify doesn’t already have their DD-214 form readily available then the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided a website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214 online: www.vetrecs.archives.gov. This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes or for membership in The American Legion.
Veterans and the next of kin of deceased veterans may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can also be downloaded from the online web site. Because the person making the request will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized.
Sons are encouraged to pass this information on to former military personnel and their dependents.
I have the DD-214 form, what’s next?
1. Click the link to open the Sons of the American Legion Application.
2. Complete and print out two (2) copies. Sign one copy and keep one copy for your records.
– or –
Save the completed form on your computer and email it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with “SAL Membership Application” as the subject.
3. Please supply a copy of DD214/discharge or American Legion membership name and number of the related veteran if applicable with the form. (We can get this later.)
4. Make out a check payable to American Legion Unit 199 for first year’s dues.
$17 for S.A.L. Membership
$15 for dual membership (Member of Legion and S.A.L)
$7 for junior membership. DO NOT SEND CASH.
4. Mail a completed and signed copy of the Sons of the American Legion Membership Application, copy of the requested related veteran’s information if available, and dues payment to the Post.
5. If all information is correct, your membership will be approved and a membership card will be mailed back to you.
Sons of the American Legion members wishing to transfer from current Unit to Unit 199 must submit the following:
A. Completed and signed Member Data Form. (We can supply you with this form.)
B. Membership dues if current year’s dues are not paid through current Unit.
C. Approval letter from previous squadron.
In addition to being welcomed as a valued member of our Post, as an SAL member you will also have a large number of member benefits with national companies when staying in hotels, renting vehicles, moving, buying computers or even sending someone flowers!