The American Legion is a national
of war-time military veterans. To be eligible, a person must have
at least one day of active duty during a period of declared war, as
by the US Congress. A person need not have actually served in a combat
but must have been on active duty status at least one day during a
With the passing of the LEGION act by Congress in 2019, eligibility dates were opened up to any period of time from December 7th, 1941 (the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) through to the Current Day (until Congress closes them again).
Service members from the Army, Navy,
Force, Marines, and Coast Guard are eligible in any listed time period,
of the Merchant Marines during WWII are eligible if they served between Dec 7th, 1941, and Aug 15th, 1945.
There can be some confusion with membership because of the structure of the Legion year. Membership runs on a calendar year, from Jan 1st to December 31st.
Your subscription to the American Legion Magazine, meanwhile, will be for one year from the date you paid your Dues. (eg. If you join the Legion April 1st, your membership will be in the current year and expire on midnight of December 31st, but you will recieve your magazine from April through the next March.)
The American Legion membership drive, however, begins in July of every year, for the following year's dues. National Headquarters will begin sending out renewal notices at this time. (To continue with the prior example, even though you signed up for membership in April, and your membership is still good through the end of December, you will still receive a notice sometime in July or August asking you to renew your membership.)
The notices have to start this early because National needs time to get all 1.5 Million notices printed and in the mail, but you do not need to renew you dues until Dec (the Post, however, does have an "Early Bird Dinner" for all members who have paid their next year's dues prior to Nov 10th).
This issue is normally only a concern in the first year of membership, but it can be an annoyance when first joining the organization, and it is worth noting.