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Department of Florida

Legion updates Auxiliary eligibility criteria from ‘wives’ to ‘spouses’

National, Henry Howard, Aug 31, 2019

During The American Legion’s 101st National Convention, delegates approved changes to the Constitution and Bylaws to replace the word “wife” with “spouse,” related to the membership criteria for the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA).

The American Legion, which was chartered by Congress, created the ALA. For that reason, the ALA operates as a separate corporation and does not need congressional approval for an eligibility change. The American Legion’s bylaws have always set the eligibility requirements of the ALA.

“We are happy to welcome eligible male spouses of veterans and servicemembers to the American Legion Family,” ALA National President Nicole Clapp said. “This is consistent with our longstanding legacy of embracing military families and supporting them any way we can.”

The ALA expects to begin taking applications for new potential members Sept. 1.

The change to Article XIII now reads as such:

The American Legion recognizes an auxiliary organization, known as The American Legion Auxiliary.

Membership in The American Legion Auxiliary shall be limited to the:

(1) grandmothers, mothers, sisters, spouses, and direct and adopted female descendants of members of The American Legion; and

(2) grandmothers, mothers, sisters, spouses, and direct and adopted female descendants of all men and women who served in either of the following periods: April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918, and any time after December 7, 1941, who, being a citizen of the United States at the time of their entry therein served on active duty in the Armed Forces of any of the governments associated with the United States during either eligibility periods and died in the line of duty or after honorable discharge;

(3) grandmothers, mothers, sisters, spouses, and direct and adopted female descendants of all men and women who were in the Armed Forces of the United States during either of the following periods: April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918; and any time after December 7, 1941 who served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States during either eligibility periods and died in the line of duty or after honorable discharge; and

(4) to those women who of their own right are eligible for membership in The American Legion.

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