Q: How do I join this post?
A: Call the post at 631-435-9636
Q: How do I know if I am eligible for membership in The American Legion?
A: Our organization was founded on the premise that all those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during times of national crisis, regardless of place of service, are eligible to belong to The American Legion. Our membership is based on period of service, not place of service. Therefore, if you have served at least one day of active duty during the eligibility dates and are still serving in the military after any of the said periods or have been honorably discharged, you may become a member. See the dates below.
Q: Why is membership in The American Legion limited to certain periods of time? I served in military, but not during The American Legion eligibility periods.
A: The American Legion was founded in 1919 as a war-time veterans organization. It was chartered by Congress on this basis. Our membership eligibility dates parallel dates set by Congress of war-time service.
Q: How does a post report the death of a member of The American Legion?
A: The form Numbered 30-001 (Member Data Form) was replaced with 30-001/2002 (the one with the red boxes on it) but both forms are correct to use to report deaths. Form 30-001 can be used until supply is depleted.
You can also use a regular transmittal form and write deceased next to the name and member number and mail with the card (with the deceased box checked) if the member has not renewed for the current year. Do not mix membership renewals and reporting deceased members on the same transmittal form.
Q: What benefits do I receive as a member of The American Legion?
A: As a member of The American Legion, you may participate in the low cost life insurance program, as well as many other discounts on moving, car rentals, hotels and motels, eyewear and prescription drugs.
Q: What is a Paid-Up-For-Life Membership?
A: It's a membership you purchase (you can now pay monthly with a credit card) that makes you a Paid-Up-For-Life Member of The American Legion. Joining the over 175,000 who've already become Paid-Up-For-Life Members assures you of all the benefits of American Legion membership for life, with no additional future payment, no more dues notices -- no matter how much the cost of your benefits may go up. See below.
Q: What type of financial aid for college or scholarship information can The American Legion provide?
A: The American Legion publishes a college financial aid guide called NEED A LIFT? This 128 page guide lists scholarships, grants and loans. NEED A LIFT? also contains a scholarship research service application called CASHE. Using the information provided on the application a database of over 150,000 entries will be searched to match awards to the individual. To order a copy of NEED A LIFT? send a $3 check or money order to: NEED A LIFT?, Emblem Sales, PO Box 1050, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
Q: What can I do to get help with a VA claim?
A: American Legion Service Officers offer free advice and guidance for veterans who need to deal with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Check the Department Service Officer for contact information of the officers in your area.
Q: I am related to someone who served on active duty during one of the membership eligibility dates. Can I join the Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion (SAL) even if he/she is not a member of The American Legion?
A: No. If your relative who served on active duty during one of the membership eligibility dates is not a member of The American Legion, you may not join either the American Legion Auxiliary or the Sons of The American Legion. However, if the qualifying veteran is deceased you may join the appropriate organization, even if the qualifying veteran was not a member of The American Legion when living.
Q: Can I ask The American Legion to search its membership list and give me a current address and telephone number of an old Army buddy I want to locate?
A: The American Legion protects the privacy of its members and will not release such information. However, there are certain situations for mail to be forwarded to our members. Legion membership of the requester is required in most cases.
Q: How can I obtain a copy of The American Legion's annual report?
A: Try the National Service Officer.
Q: Is there a history of The American Legion available?
A: Copies of Thomas Rumer's The American Legion: An Official History 1919-1989 is still available from Emblem Sales, The American Legion, PO Box 1050, Indianapolis, IN 46206, Telephone: (317) 630-1251, or FAX: (317) 630-1381 at a cost of $16.95 plus $3.95 postage and handling. Phone and FAX orders are accepted with VISA or MasterCard only.
Q: Where do I direct questions or concerns about local posts?
A: Post matters and/or concerns should be directed to the New York Department Headquarters. The Department has the first line responsibility in reviewing any actions by a post. In addition, if you are interested in joining or even just visiting local posts within an area, please direct all questions to Department Headquarters. The professional staff should provide the information you are seeking.
Q: How can I request a copy of my military discharge records for proof of eligibility?
A: If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, you may now use vetrecs.archives.gov to order copies of military records. All others must use the SF 180 or request in a letter.
Veterans or next-of-kin of deceased veterans:
Obtain and Fill out Standard Form 180 (SF-180)
Or Write a Letter to Request Records
How to Obtain Standard Form 180 (SF-180), Request Pertaining to Military Records
There are several ways to obtain an SF-180. You can: Download and print a copy of the SF-180 in PDF format.
You need access to a printer and the Adobe Acrobat Reader software (see link below). The form is a total of 3 pages.
The SF-180 is formatted for letter size paper (8.5" x 11"). If your printer can not accommodate this, select "shrink to fit" when the Adobe Acrobat Reader "Print" dialog box appears.
This is also a fillable version of the SF-180. It will allow you to type the needed information into the form using your keyboard. You will still need to print, sign and mail the form. Otherwise, it works the same as stated above.
Order the form to be faxed to you from the National Archives and Records Administration's Fax-on-Demand System
Call the Fax-on-Demand System at (301) 837-0990 from a fax machine , using the handset. Follow the voice instructions, and request document number 2255. There is no charge for this service except for any long distance telephone charges you may incur.
Use the NARA web site to order the form through the mail.
Write to The National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132
You may also be able to obtain the SF-180:
From the Department of Defense
From Federal Information Centers
From local Veterans Administration offices
From veterans service organizations
The SF 180 may be photocopied as needed. Please submit a separate SF 180 for each individual whose records are being requested.
2. Write a Letter to Request Records
If you are not able to obtain SF-180, you may still submit a request for military records. Requests must contain enough information to identify the record among the more than 70 million on file at NPRC (MPR). Certain basic information is needed to locate military service records. This information includes:
- The veteran's complete name used while in service
- Service number or social security number
- Branch of service
- Dates of service
- Date and place of birth may also be helpful, especially if the service number is not known
If the request pertains to a record that may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
- Place of discharge
- Last unit of assignment
- Place of entry into the service, if known.
Please submit a separate request (either SF 180 or letter) for each individual whose records are being requested.
How to Submit Requests:
Send by mail
Send by fax
Today we must continue to receive requests, dated and with a handwritten signature, either by mail or by fax only. This is because Federal law [5 USC 552a(b)] requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed and dated.
You may submit more than one request per envelope or fax, but please submit a separate request (either SF 180 or letter) for each individual whose records are being requested.
Send by Mail
Our mailing address is:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Send by Fax
Our fax number for requesting military records is 314-801-9195.
The Center will respond in writing by U.S. Mail.
3. Order Processing Time
Response times for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) vary greatly depending on the nature of the request. For example, the NPRC Military Records Facility currently has a backlog of 180,000 requests and receives approximately 5,000 requests per day. Routine requests for separation documents currently require only 2-4 weeks for servicing. However, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 fire or older records which require extensive search efforts may take much longer. The average turnaround time on all requests is currently running at approximately 12 weeks.
Q: How can I request confirmation if an individual has ever served in the military?
A: The information page has been developed to respond quickly to the many people who write to the Department of Defense requesting confirmation whether an individual has ever served in the military. To obtain certificates of service or non-service under the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act of 1940, please address your correspondence to the appropriate military office listed. In the event you are unsure of the Service that an individual may have served in, the only recourse is to write to each office. Click Here for mailing addresses - the charge for each Soldiers and Sailors certificate (as of February 21, 2002) is $5.20. Checks should be made payable to the "Treasurer of the United States."