For veterans who qualify, there are multiple ways to join The American Legion. The traditional way is to fill out a simple form, which can be given to a recruiter or any Legionnaire who will make sure that the rest of the process is in motion. Prospective members may also fill out a form online.

Here’s a look at both methods, each of which can be done in a matter of minutes:

Paper form. After a new member completes the application form, a Legion representative will sign it and take it to the local post. If a candidate is signed up at a post, he or she can receive the membership card on the spot. If not, the membership card should be delivered within a week.

Regardless of where a recruit is signed up, the post adjutant or membership chairman will log his or her information and then transmit the form to the department headquarters. The department will forward the information to National Headquarters, usually within a week. At that time, the information will be logged into the national system.

Online form. Prospective members also can sign up online. Visit www.legion.org/join and follow the easy prompts from there. While online, the member-to-be may print out a temporary card.

This information will be processed by National Headquarters. Once the information is processed, a membership card will be sent to the new member. At that time, the new member may take the card to any local post and join.

Once a member, you also can save time, effort and postage by renewing your membership online and then taking advantage of the online Automatic Annual Renewal Program now available nationwide.

Members can simply go to www.legion.org/renew and click “Renew Now” to safely and conveniently pay their post dues on an annual, automatic basis. Once a member enters the information requested, he or she can set the account for automatic annual renewal. Automatic renewal can also be set up by calling the toll-free American Legion customer service line at (800) 433-3318.

Available discounts

Regardless of whether a member joins via pencil or computer, the membership benefits will include:

• Discounts: These practical, money-saving discounts for you and your family will easily save you many times the cost of your annual membership dues.

• Magazine: Our nation’s leaders speak directly to citizens on the pages of The American Legion Magazine. The monthly magazine features in-depth analysis, historical stories, Q&As with high-profile officials, news about veterans issues and much more.

• Voice on Capitol Hill: The American Legion is the nation’s most influential, effective and dependable advocate of veterans affairs, fighting for better active-duty pay, improved housing for active-duty families and helping to ensure that VA’s medical system is effectively serving those who served.

• VA benefit assistance: Your membership helps support department service officers nationwide who assist veterans in preparing claims and obtaining their full military health-care benefits through VA.