The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization. A community-service organization which now numbers nearly 2 million members -- men and women -- in nearly 12,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These Posts are organized into 55 Departments -- one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines.
The American Legion's national headquarters is in Indianapolis, Indiana, with additional offices in Washington, DC. In addition to thousands of volunteers serving in leadership and program implementation capacities in local communities to the Legion's standing national commissions and committees, the national organization has a regular full-time staff of about 300 employees.
Membership eligibility in The American Legion is based on honorable federal active duty service with the U.S. Armed Forces from December 7, 1941 until the end of hostilities as determined by the United States Congress.