American Legion

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"The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization. A community-service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members -- men and women -- in nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These Posts are organized into 55 Departments -- one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines."
"The American Legion's national headquarters is in Indianapolis,Indiana, with additional offices in Washington, DC. In addition to thousands of volunteers serving in leadership and program implementation capacities in local communities to the Legion's standing national commissions and committees, the national organization has a regular full-time staff of about 300 employees."[1]

American Legion Uniformed Groups Rules Congress

Sons of the American Legion

See main article: Sons of the American Legion

The Sons of the American Legion or SAL, was established in 1932. It was to involve the sons of the World War II veterans in various activities including sports and Drum Corps. The first SAL or Junior corps Championships were held in 1937 at the American Legion National Convention in New York City, New York. Some feel that this event was the beginning of the junior corps movement of the 1940s and following.

American Legion Championships


  • The Championships were in two divisions. Initially it was a senior division solely, with the junior division, also known as the 'Sons of the American Legion', added in 1937.
  • For much of the competition's history, competing corps would play a 5 and 1/2 minute show for the preliminary or qualifying competition and a full show for the finals competition.

Current Status

The Senior portion of the title has been a part of the anuual contest in Scranton, Pennsylvania under the auspices of 'Doc' Sebastianelli and the Pennsylvania American Legion, with the approval of the American Legion National Headquarters and the National Committee. Since 1997 the championships have been largely by invitation only.

When the DCA championships occur in Scranton (since 2003) it is made part of the DCA Championships. Certain requirements as to American Legion Post sponsorship and an honor guard displaying a Post flag are made and if the first place corps does not fulfill them, it is possible for a lower placing corps to be named the A.L. Senior National Champion. Corps members being A.L. members is no longer required.

Since the DCA championships have moved from the Scranton location, it is anticipated that the title will be part of the 'Parade of Champions' show held in Scranton each year.

The Junior portion of the title hasn't been awarded in many years and there is no information on its return.

External Links