Our Mission and Purpose

The American Legion’s mission statement is “To enhance the well-being of America’s veterans, their families, our military, and our communities by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.”

The American Legion’s vision statement is “The American Legion: Veterans Strengthening America.”

The American Legion is built on a promise from men and women who swore with their lives to defend and protect the United States through military service. The promise begins at enlistment, grows through training and discipline in the U.S. Armed Forces and continues after discharge, as veterans in service to community, state and nation.

In times of crisis, The American Legion steps into the turmoil and fights to provide needed assistance for others.

Young people who seek positive opportunities turn to The American Legion, which has mentored generations into responsible citizens.

Veterans in need of advocates to help them achieve meaningful careers, educations, health-care services, friends and stable homes are supported every day, free of charge, by The American Legion.

Active-duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel have dedicated supporters in The American Legion. A strong and well-resourced national defense is, and has always been, a central purpose of the organization. As former troops, Legionnaires understand the importance of home-front support.

Legionnaires constantly remind communities that freedom and prosperity come with a price, a price often paid in blood. They know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. They raise the money, put in the hours and bring into existence monuments and memorials to “preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in all wars.”

The American Legion salutes the flag and asks all others to show respect for the unity, freedom and hope it represents.

Among American Legion members, there is no rank or prejudice, only purpose. A veteran is a veteran. And the purpose of veterans in The American Legion is to strengthen the United States of America through programs, services, compassion and actions that have proven vital, timeless and life-changing for over a century.

WWI Soldiers
POW-MIA Empty Table
Legion & Riders Members at Flag Disposal Ceremony

Our History

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans. We are a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process from local districts to Capitol Hill. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington.

Our Four Pillars


The Americanism pillar of the American Legion is dedicated to instilling a sense of patriotism, civic responsibility, and respect for American values among citizens. It accomplishes this through educational programs, community involvement, and a commitment to upholding the symbols and principles that define the United States.

Children & Youth

The Children & Youth pillar of the American Legion is dedicated to enhancing the lives of young people by providing opportunities for their development, education, and well-being. It embodies a commitment to supporting the next generation and ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to succeed and thrive.

National Security

The National Security pillar of the American Legion focuses on advocating for a strong military, supporting veterans, safeguarding the homeland, and influencing policies related to national defense and foreign affairs to ensure the security and well-being of the United States and its citizens.

Veteran Affairs & Rehabilitation

This pillar of the American Legion is dedicated to improving the lives of veterans by addressing their healthcare needs, supporting their rehabilitation, assisting with claims, preventing homelessness, facilitating employment, and advocating for veterans’ rights and benefits.

4 Pillars on front of Legion HQ Building

Our Legion Family

American Legion Emblem
Founded in 1919, The American Legion is the nation’s largest and most influential veterans service organization. It is made up of nearly 2 million wartime veterans who focus activities on the organization’s Four Pillars: Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, National Defense, Americanism, and Children & Youth.
American Legion Auxiliary Emblem
The Auxiliary’s membership is more than 600,000 strong. With more than 8,000 units in communities, members are fiercely dedicated to serving, helping, and meeting the needs of veterans, the military, and their families.
SAL Emblem
Founded in 1932, the Sons honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires. There are more than 372,000 members in the United States. Members include males whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership.
Legion Riders Emblem
With more than 2,500 chapters, American Legion Riders have helped raise more than $14 million for the Legacy Scholarship Fund. The Riders also perform a number of services for American Legion-supported causes and provide support at military funerals. Participants must be members of The American Legion, Auxiliary or Sons.