There are three requisites for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States:

  • citizenship;
  • honorable military service; and
  • service entitling the applicant to the award of a recognized campaign medal or as set forth in the Congressional Charter and/or VFW bylaws.

Checking Eligibility: Checking eligibility is comparatively simple, assuming the first two requirements are met.

A potential applicant must have served overseas and earned a campaign, service medal or insignia recognized by the VFW as meeting the requisite for VFW membership. (The only exceptions are a combat action ribbon, imminent danger pay or for service in Korea after June 30, 1949, until present.)

Discharges during and immediately after World War II have a section on the back listing earned medals and decorations. Persons discharged later received a DD-214, "Report of Separation" form, which has a space showing medals and decorations. Lost separation documents can be replaced by completing and submitting Standard Form 180, "Request Pertaining to Military Records."

If an applicant claims entitlement to a medal which is not shown on the individual's separation papers, that person may request verification and correction of records by submitting a Standard Form 180.

The Standard Form 180 is available from any office of the Veterans Administration or state Veterans Departments. The form must be completed and signed by the veteran in order to receive the information requested or authorize the release of the information to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Eligibility Regulations: VFW eligibility listing is to be used as a guide in determining eligibility for membership, and is furnished as a matter of information concerning the periods during which campaign and/or service medals were authorized.

VFW 10555

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