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
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.
American Legion posts annually:
Donate more than 3.7 million hours of volunteer service in their
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
than 2,500 Scouting units serving more than 64,000 young people
Awards more than $4 million in college scholarships
The American Legion will mark its 100th anniversary with a 15-month
celebration running from its national
convention in August 2018 through Veterans Day 2019.