In Garden City, Mich., 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. The two longtime riders wanted an environment where Legion family members could come together to share a common love for motorcycles.
Dare and Kaledas wrote a letter to Michigan Department Adjutant Hubert Hess, sharing their idea. Hess replied that he liked the concept and wanted to pursue it. Later, he gave Kaledas and Dare instructions for managing the program at the post level. He also explained how they could be approved to use the American Legion emblem, and how to gain Membership's support and recognition. At a regular meeting, Post 396 members passed a resolution for a new program to be known as the "American Legion Riders."
Joined by 19 other founding members from their post, Dare and Kaledas were flooded with requests for information about their organization. They agreed to establish a central source for the Riders to ensure that chapters formed not as motorcycle clubs or gangs, but as Legionnaires and Auxiliary and SAL members joining to ride as Legion family.
Who is eligible to be a Legion Rider?
Legion Riders are not a separate membership classification, it is a program of The American Legion. Any member in good standing in The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, or Sons of the American Legion may participate in Legion Rider events.
My Post does not have a chapter.
Not all posts have created a Legion Rider program. In this case members from other posts, units, and squadrons should find a Legion Rider Chapter near them and participate in their events. Participation in the rider program does not mean the member has to be a member of the post, unit, or squadron of that post.
HOW TO BECOME A LEGION RIDER MEMBER
- Members must hold membership in and be in good standing with The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion.
- Members must be legally registered motorcycle owners 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 members must obey motor-vehicle laws in the state in which they are operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger.