FAQs & Links

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the Membership Eligibility Requirements

If you are currently on active duty, serving the United States honorably, anywhere in the world, or have served honorably during any of the following eligible war eras, we invite you to become a member of The American Legion.

  • 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)

  • Free gift: Pewter Branch of Service Pin
  • 12 Issues of The American Legion Magazine
  • Official Membership Card
  • Exclusive Member Discounts and Benefits
  • Access to scholarships and programs

Membership Renewal

Membership in The American Legion is based on a calendar-year from January 1st to December 31st. When a member pays their dues, they are paid up for that membership year. They will also receive twelve monthly subscriptions to The American Legion Magazine.

The renewal process begins in July for the upcoming membership year. Renewal notices are sent out in July, October, January, March and May. When a member renews, they are removed from future renewal notices for that year. There are times when a member pays their dues, but they still receive a renewal notice. Since dues are paid to the local post, it takes a little longer for national to be notified about the renewal and the member may receive another renewal notice. If this occurs, please check with your local post to ensure they have received your dues.

Online renewals

Currently, The American Legion National Headquarters is testing how to effectively implement online renewals in five departments. These departments are Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland and Wisconsin. Once this test is complete, we plan on offering members the ability to renew online. Until then, if one is not a member of a post in one of these departments, they must contact their local post to pay their dues.

Where do I get the AL Cap, apparel, and other items?

Remember: purchasing through Flag & Emblem can benefit your post.

Most, if not all, items can be found here:

Uniform Cap Etiquette

  • Uniform CapsThe left side (emblem side) of the cap is reserved only for the Legion emblem, city, county, district, or state lettering.
  • If desired, the following items must be placed on the right side of the cap:
    • Additional lettering, restricted to either the name of a Post or to an officer title, such as Past Commander
    • Cap insignias or badges for past or present officers
    • Consecutive membership insignia, membership stars, and/or authorized Legion or military service decorations
  • Names or nicknames of individual members cannot be used on caps.
  • The Legion uniform cap should be worn by its members only when in attendance at official Legion meetings or ceremonies or as official guests at patriotic or other civil functions or by individuals when officially representing The American Legion on public occasions.
  • A member is considered to be in uniform if wearing an official Legion uniform cap. Therefore it is not proper to wear the cap while eating a meal at an official Legion or civic luncheon or dinner.
  • The cap should be worn in a place of worship only by the Guard of Honor, Color Guard, and Commander of same while in marching order or standing guard. When returned to and seated in pews, the cap should be removed.
  • Legion posts marching in formation into a place of worship should uncover at the door, hold the cap with the right hand over the heart until the arrival in the pews and commanded to take seats, remaining uncovered during the entire service. At the close of the service, upon command, the post shall arise, the members holding the cap with the right hand over the heart will march out of the place of worship and recover after marching through the door.
  • Legion members not in formation will uncover upon entering the place of worship and remain uncovered during the entire service and will recover after leaving the place of worship.
  • When at a funeral, the cap should be held over the heart as one approaches the casket and is not at any time worn in a place of worship (except by the Guard of Honor, Color Guard, or Commander of same while in marching order or standing guard.) At the graveside, the cap should be held in the right hand over the heart during the entire service. In cold and inclement weather, the cap should not be worn.
  • In Legion meetings, the cap should be worn except during moments of the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer, and when standing in silent reverence in memory of departed comrades, when the cap should be held with the right hand over the heart.
  • Female members of the Legion should wear their caps in the manner prescribed for female personnel of the armed services.

What is the Meaning of the Emblem

"There shines the Emblem of The American Legion, it is your badge of distinction, honor and service. It stands for God and Country, and the highest rights of man. Of its several parts, each has a meaning."

Elements of the emblem

Rays Of the Sun

The rays of the sun

The rays of the sun form the background of our proud emblem and suggests the Legion's principles will dispel the darkness of violence and evil.

The Wreath

The wreath

The wreath forms the center, in loving memory of those brave comrades who gave their lives in the service of the United States that liberty might endure.

The Star

The star

The star, victory symbol of World War I, also symbolizes honor, glory and constancy. The letters "U.S." leave no doubt as to the brightest star in the Legion's star.

The Two Large Rings

Outer rings

The larger of two outer rings stands for the rehabilitation of our sick and disabled comrades. The smaller inside ring denotes the welfare of America's children.

Two Small Rings

Inner rings

The smaller of two inner rings set upon the star represents service to our communities, states and the nation. The larger outer ring pledges loyalty to Americanism.

The Words American Legion

American Legion

The words American Legion tie the whole together for truth, remembrance, constancy, honor, service, veterans affairs and rehabilitation, children and youth, loyalty, and Americanism.


The American Legion

The American Legion Department of Texas

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