Founded in 1932, Sons of The American Legion exists to honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires. S.A.L. members include males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership. Members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion comprise the Legion Family, which has a combined membership of nearly 4.2 million. Although Sons has its own membership, the organization is not a separate entity. Rather, S.A.L. is a program of The American Legion. Many Legionnaires hold dual membership in S.A.L.
The Sons organization is divided into detachments at the state level and squadrons at the local level. A squadron pairs with a local American Legion post; a squadron’s charter is contingent upon its parent post’s charter. However, squadrons can determine the extent of their services to the community, state and nation. They are permitted flexibility in planning programs and activities to meet their needs, but must remember S.A.L.’s mission: to strengthen the four pillars of The American Legion. Therefore, squadrons’ campaigns place an emphasis on preserving American traditions and values, improving the quality of life for our nation’s children, caring for veterans and their families, and teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship.
Since 1988, S.A.L. has raised more than $5.8 million for The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation. S.A.L. members have volunteered over 500,000 hours at veterans hospitals and raised over $1,000,000 for VA hospitals and VA homes. The Sons also support the Citizens Flag Alliance, a coalition dedicated to protecting the U.S. flag from desecration through a constitutional amendment.
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
S.A.L. puts up big numbers in 2017 The American Legion
Sons of The American Legion is wrapping up a big year. On pace to exceed a record high in membership, eclipsing the 2016 mark of 367,678, the program for male descendants of American Legion-eligible wartime veterans recently released its accomplishments through August 2017, including:
$2.1 million in fundraising and 269,475 volunteer hours in support of American Legion Children & Youth programs.
407,971 VA volunteer hours, including 27,225 visits to facilities, and $1.7 million in cash donations and gifts.
20,103 volunteer hours and $64,691 in support of The American Legion’s Family Support Network, to help wartime military families with children at home keep up with household details.
$594,414 in contributions and 71,565 in volunteer hours to the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation (CWF), making SAL the largest single contributor to the CWF.
14,315 color guard appearances.
152 American Legion Baseball team sponsorships.
44,038 U.S. flag presentations and 2,202 flag education programs conducted.
13,938 flag retirement ceremonies.
528,414 flags placed at veterans cemeteries and handed out at parades.
Sponsorship of 1,018 American Legion Boys State participants.
Founded in 1932, Sons of The American Legion works in support of American Legion programs and services through 55 state and foreign detachments that represent 6,148 squadrons.
How large is the Sons of The American Legion?
Each year since 1982, the Sons of The American Legion has set a new all-time high in membership. Currently, there are more than 350,000 members of the Sons in this country and abroad.
What is the administrative structure of the Sons?
Every member of the Sons belongs to a Squadron somewhere. The Squadron is the basic level of membership in our organization. Different states (Detachments) use different ways of grouping numbers of Squadrons together. In most states, Squadrons are grouped geographically and report to their own Districts (also called Areas or Divisions). All Districts (or Areas or Divisions) report to the state headquarters, referred to as a Detachment. All state Detachments report to the National Headquarters. In addition to the 50 state Detachments in the U.S., there are also some foreign countries which are Detachments; Mexico, Puerto Rico, Philippines and France.
What is the main purpose of the Sons?
The mission of the Sons is to support veterans and their families and the policies of our parent organization, The American Legion. Virtually everything that involves the Sons could be grouped under three areas: 1) support for veterans and their families, 2) promoting patriotism and Americanism and 3) promoting programs which benefit the youth of our country.
When was the Sons founded?
The American Legion established the Sons of The American Legion in 1932.
Why would someone want to join the Sons?
Different people have different reasons for belonging to organizations. For many, membership in the Sons has allowed them to become involved in American Legion programs alongside their fathers. Others belong out of respect for their parents' and grandparents' service to our country in the military. Many younger members get involved and learn valuable leadership skills involving organization, public speaking, negotiating, budgeting and fundraising skills. Membership in our organization also provides individuals with opportunities to forge lifelong friendships with people who share a common bond.
Who runs the Sons?
The governing legislative body of the Sons is its National Convention. Detachments (states) send representatives to the National Convention each year to elect national officers and conduct the business of the organization. Between conventions, authority is vested in the National Executive Committee, also made up of elected representatives from each Detachment. The N.E.C. meets twice annually. Nationally elected officers include the National Commander, five National Vice Commanders (responsible for Detachments in their own regions), the National Chaplain and the National Sergeant at-Arms.
SONS of The American Legion mission: to strengthen the four pillars of The American Legion. Therefore, squadrons’ campaigns place an emphasis on preserving;
1. American traditions and values
2. Improving the quality of life for our nation’s children
3. Caring for veterans and their families
4. Teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship.
SAL Program and Awards
SAL Five Star Program - http://www.legion.org/documents/pdf/sons_fivestar.pdf
SAL The Ten Ideals Program - http://www.legion.org/documents/pdf/sons_tenideals.pdf