Memory immune responses are classically attributed to the reactivation of long-lived, antigen-specific T lymphocytes that persist in a quiescent state. Determining mechanisms for the generation of memory T cells and dissecting the functional nature of the memory T cell pool has been encumbered by an inability to distinguish recently activated effector T cells from memory T cells. We have established new activation and biochemical criteria that distinguish effector and memory T cells and have applied these criteria to follow memory generation from activated cells in vivo. We found that the resultant memory T cell pool is heterogeneous and consists of effector-like and resting memory-like subsets that differ in expression of the homing receptor, CD62L. We discuss these findings in the context of memory T cell heterogeneity identified in human and mouse systems. These results suggest that more than one type of previously activated T cell can mediate recall or memory immune responses and that elucidating the fundamental phenotypic and functional features of memory T cell subsets is therefore critical to deciphering the complex nature of the memory immune response.