Who Are We

  • The American Legion was founded in March 1919 in Paris, France, by U.S. World War I military personnel stationed there who were dedicated to four pillars of service and advocacy: veterans, military personnel, youth and patriotic values.
  • The American Legion today consists of 55 “departments” in each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, France, Mexico, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. There are approximately 13,000 local posts worldwide.
  • Current national membership is about 2 million. Combined with the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion, membership in what is known as the American Legion Family exceeds 3 million.
  • American Legion membership is open to military personnel and veterans who have served their nation on active duty during wartime. Eligibility has been open to all who have served on active duty since Aug. 2, 1990, the beginning of continuous U.S. armed conflict in the Middle East and other locations around the planet.
  • The Legion has been instrumental in the creation of a number of major institutions of American society, including formation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, creation of U.S. Flag Code, passage of the GI Bill and more.


What We Do

American Legion posts annually:

  • Donate more than 3.7 million hours of volunteer service in their communities
  • Provide assistance on more than 181,000 VA benefits claims and cases
  • Donate more than 80,000 pints of blood to collection centers nationwide, which makes the Legion the nation’s single largest blood donor
  • Awards more than 8,000 medals to Junior ROTC students
  • Sponsors more than 2,500 Scouting units serving more than 64,000 young people
  • Awards more than $4 million in college scholarships

The American Legion Family

The American Legion: Founded in 1919, The American Legion is the nation’s largest and most influential veterans service organizations. It is made up of 2 million wartime veterans who focus activities on the organization’s Four Pillars: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Defense, Americanism, and Children and Youth.

The Sons of the American Legion: Founded in 1932, the Sons honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires. There are more than 355,000 members in the United States. Members include males whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership.

The American Legion Auxiliary: As the largest spouse’s patriotic service organization in the world, the Auxiliary’s membership is more than 600,000 strong. With more than 8,000 units in communities, members are fiercely dedicated to serving, helping, and meeting the needs of veterans, the military, and their families.

Legion Riders: With more than 2,000 chapters, Legion Riders have helped raise more than $10 million for the Legacy Scholarship Fund. The Riders also perform a number of services for Legion-supported causes and provide support at military funerals. Participants must be members of The American Legion, Auxiliary or Sons.

For more than a century, The American Legion, and later the Sons of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Legion Riders, have worked steadfastly side by side with promoting patriotism and national security while supporting youth and advocating for veterans and active-duty military personnel and families.

While members of the American Legion Family are individually unique, collectively we are a multi-million member powerhouse of caring advocates dedicated to service. You’ll find that getting connected to the American Legion Family is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.