There are three qualifiers for membership in the VFW, as set out in our By-Laws. An individual must meet all three in order to become a member. They are as follows:
1: Citizenship – must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. National.
2: Honorable Service – must have served in the Armed Forces of the United States and either received a discharge of Honorable or General (Under Honorable Conditions) or be currently
3: Service in a war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters*. This can be proven by any of the following:
- An authorized campaign medal (see a full list of qualifying medals and badges)
- Receipt of Hostile Fire Pay or Imminent Danger Pay (verified by a military pay statement)
- Service in Korea for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days
*This information is usually available through a veteran’s DD-214. If other information is needed or if a veteran’s DD-214 is not complete, they can contact the National Personnel Records Center online or at 314-801-0800 to request more information.
ELIGIBILITY REGULATIONS: The following is to be used as a guide in determining eligibility for membership. Campaign medals and the periods issued have been authorized by the United States of America, and the holder of any such medal or medals is recognized as possessing the campaign medal requisite of eligibility.
We understand the unique bond you share with other veterans of overseas conflicts because we, too, have been there. Since 1899, the VFW has been the nation’s leading veterans service organization in the fight to better the lives of all those who’ve worn the uniform of the United States military. No matter which conflict called you to service, we invite you to join us. Stand strong with the nearly 1.7 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary as together, we continue to fight for all that’s good FOR VETERANS.
As the largest combat veterans organization around, VFW membership spans the globe. We’re an elite group of combat warriors who have each other’s backs long after the fight is over.
Camaraderie. Empowerment. Access to a vast network of resources. Assistance securing the benefits you've earned. Numerous discounts on a number of products and services. With a VFW membership, you'll find all this and more! Further, your VFW membership establishes your place in the VFW legacy that dates back to our founding in 1899.
Your dues of just $45.00 will cover the cost of your membership for a full calendar year as a Member-At-Large for your state. ($1.98 of your membership dues goes toward your VFW magazine subscription.)
Membership Committee Chair ~ Mark Short Post 9400
By becoming a VFW Life member, you make a lifetime commitment to serving your fellow service members and veterans. That's something to take great pride in.
You'll also enjoy many great benefits of being a Life member! You will:
- Avoid annual dues and renewals.
- Maintain your membership in any Post you choose, worldwide!
- Never pay an increase in dues—Guaranteed!
- Receive a 10% discount on exclusive VFW Store merchandise for the first year.
You can become a VFW Life member by making a one-time payment, or you can pay for your Life membership through our installment plan with an initial $45 payment and the Life membership amount billed over an 11-month period.
Life Membership & Retention Chair - Jim Zawacki Post 9907
Legacy Life Membership
Legacy Life membership enables VFW Life members to leave a lasting impression on our great organization.
Three prestigious levels of Legacy Life membership are available: Gold, Silver
Each level offers generous benefits reserved exclusively for Legacy Life members. Once your Legacy Life membership begins, an annual endowment in your name will be made to your Post, Department and the national organization. You will feel confident knowing your contributions to our organization are not only helping today’s veterans but the veterans of tomorrow.
You may also purchase a Memorial Legacy in the name of a deceased VFW Life member to help future generations know and remember their sacrifice and contributions.
View our list of current Legacy Life members by state.
Legacy Life Membership Chair ~ Forrest Barker Post 9829