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American Legion Riders
In Garden City, Michigan, in 1993, Chuck "Tramp" Dare and Bill "Polka" Kaledas, commander of American Legion Post 396, shared an idea to start a motorcycle enthusiasts association within the organization. At a regular meeting, Post 396 members passed a resolution for a new program to be known as the "American Legion Riders."
Currently, 106,000 American Legion Riders meet in over a thousand chapters in every domestic department and in at least three foreign countries. Riders in Iowa have formed an honor guard called The Five Star Freedom Riders, and Riders in Mulvane, Kansas, founded the Patriot Guard to protect the sanctity of military funerals from protesters. Riders in all states have escorted military units returning home from combat tours overseas, conducted massive cross-country fundraising events for wounded warriors from all services, and have raised millions of dollars for countless local, state and national charities.
The mission of the American Legion Riders is to promote and support the programs of the American Legion and to participate in parades and other ceremonies which are in keeping with the Aims and Purposes of the American Legion. It promotes motorcycle safety programs and provides a social atmosphere for American Legion members who share the same interest.
The Riders Creed
Riders dedicate themselves to the success of the American Legion. I know that, through my efforts, I can make a difference.
I alone am responsible for myself and to my fellow riders. I will conduct myself with the highest degree of integrity and honor.
Deeds, not words, create change. I will persevere against any and all things that prevent my success. My resolve and strength will overcome all obstacles.
Each rider is first a member of the American Legion Family. I will actively participate in willingly support their endeavors.
Readily will I join other riders in activities and events which support our missions. I will do so gladly knowing I volunteered to be an American Legion Rider.
Success is the only acceptable conclusion. I will allow nothing to dissuade me or impede me from service to my family, community, country and especially our Veterans.
American Legion Riders Funeral Dress and Conduct Code
This Professional Dress/Appearance and Code of Conduct were created to provide guidance and ensure every member understands guidelines established for attending funerals of our Veterans. Each funeral is a final farewell to a loved one. We are attending as invited guests, and as such, need to represent the American Legion in a professional manner.
Dress / Appearance
- Black shirts (short or long sleeve) are mandatory. Sleeveless shirts and tank tops are not acceptable.
- Long black pants are mandatory. Shorts and cut-offs are not acceptable.
- Black Boots or black hard sole shoes are recommended. Sneakers are discouraged unless a medical condition warrants. Sandals and flip flops are not acceptable.
- Helmet, full-fingered gloves (seasonal), and eye cover are recommended. American Legion Rider Hats are encouraged; du-rags are discouraged. Remove head gear upon entering Church.
- No attire will contain profanity.
- All attendees are expected to hold a flag. If you are unable to stand for long periods of time, please go inside and attend the service. Exceptions: the Ride Captain and Road Guards may be needed for other activities at larger funerals, and therefore, will not normally hold flags. However, when time permits, they should provide relief to others in the flag line.
- Flags poles are held in the right hand and vertical. You do not salute while holding a flag. Specifics for each mission will be outlined during the ride briefing.
- No talking in the flag line once family and guests start arriving.
- No joking or horseplay in the flag line.
- Cell phones should be turned off. If you must leave your phone on for work or emergency reasons, phone should be on silent mode or vibrate. If absolutely necessary to use the phone, ask someone to replace you in the flag line and walk away from the area and out of sight of arriving guests before using the phone. Never answer your phone in the flag line.
- No smoking or use of tobacco products in the flag line or close to the church, mortuary, family, or guests. If you need a break, ask someone to replace you in the flag line and walk away from the area and out of sight of arriving guests.
- No one should be sitting on tailgates, under trees, or milling around in groups while flag line is in progress.
- No profanity.
American Legion Eligibility Requirements
If you are currently on active duty, serving the United States honorably, anywhere in the world, or have served honorably during any of the following eligible war eras, we invite you to become a member of The American Legion.
April 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918 (World War I)
Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946 (World War II)
June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955 (Korean War)
Feb. 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War)
Aug. 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984 (Lebanon / Grenada)
Dec. 20, 1989 to Jan. 31, 1990 (Panama)
Aug. 2, 1990 to present (Gulf War / War On Terrorism)
American Legion Riders Eligibility Requirements
- Must hold membership in and be in good standing with The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion.
- Must own a legally registered motorcycle or be the legally registered owner's spouse within the state of registration.
- All operators must be properly licensed and insured per state laws.
- All operators must obey motor-vehicle laws in the state in which they are operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger.
- There may be additional requirements that vary from chapter to chapter.
Standard Form 180 to request military records, such as a DD-214, etc. (click)
American Legion Member Application (click)
The Member Data Form (click) should be used to report:
Date of Birth
Continuous Years Changes
American Legion Resources
American Legion (click)
American Legion Flag and Emblem Sales Page (click)
American Legion Douglas L. Cordo, NY Post 1748, Lake Katrine, NY (click)
Woodstock American Legion Post 1026, Woodstock, NY (click)
American Legion Post 1219 - Rosendale/Tillson, NY (click)
American Legion Riders Ulster County Chapter 1298 (click)
American Legion Riders Post 1244 Greenlawn, NY (click)
National American Legion Riders (click)
American Legion Amateur Radio Club (click)
American Legion Department of New York (click)
MSF's Guide to Group Riding