“Persons in the armed forces of the United States shall become eligible for membership immediately upon arrival on hostile soil, in hostile waters or the airspace above…”
Eligibility in the VFW is based on honorable service in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard by officer or enlisted personnel who have served in any foreign war, insurrection, or expedition that is recognized by award of a campaign or service medal of the United States. Service in Korea or for service members earning Hostile Fire or Imminent Danger Pay also earns eligibility.
Proof of service to establish eligibility for membership in the VFW rests with the applicant. The most commonly used proof of eligibility is DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Every person who spent time in the military will have received this form. The two most important items within DD Form 214 determining eligibility are Block 13 and Block 24.
Block 13, titled Decorations, Medals, Badges, Citations, and Campaign Ribbons Awarded or Authorized must contain written proof that the applicant participated in at least one military campaign or action, during qualifying dates, as identified by U. S. Congressional designation. The VFW Manual of Procedure lists 38 such occasions and more than 60 independent actions – dating as far back as 1874 – during which an applicant could have served in order to be eligible for membership.
Block 24, titled Character of Service must be Honorable. Any lesser characterization makes an applicant ineligible for membership, unless such characterization was subsequently changed to Honorable by military Service administrative board action. In such circumstances a correction to an applicant’s administrative record must have been documented by issue of a DD Form 215.
If you, a friend, family member, or co-worker meet eligibility requirements for membership in today’s VFW, contact us via this website, our organizational email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (206) 232-6390; either the Post Commander, a staff member, or the Post Membership Coordinator will respond to assist in answering your questions and welcoming you as one of our newest comrades-in-arms soon.
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” - Douglas MacArthur