Re: Knots Limits
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Sun, 29 May 1994 01:25:12 EDT
>Well, I got home. Let's see what we have in my handy-dandy Scouting Library,
>meager as it may be... :)
Randy, your library is really great. One day, I hope that you and I
can exchange items....
>Official Uniforms and Insignia - 1973 - pg 37 Not more than five medals,
>one trail medal, NRA medal is now out, only one religious award, only one
>military medal, ALL knots earned may be worn, order of precedence listed.
>Scouter's Key or Training Award may be worn together if both earned.
Don't trade away those NRA medals and ditch those trail medals yet!
The "order of precedence" listing was a STUPID idea...and it was
canned about three years later!
>Insignia Control Guide - 1978 - p 28 covers knots. Still no more than 5
>medals, all knots earned may be worn. Military insignia went by wayside
>(under "Badges From Other Organizations" clause).
It's not just listed anymore as the number of former "real military
Scouters" (read that to mean anyone during the Second World War)
declined rapidly. The policy is still there....
>What they don't tell you is that the pendant awards, e.g., Silver critters,
>George Meany, Adult Religious, Cub Leader Recognition, etc, has no limit on
>number worn (probably limited only by ability of wearer to carry all that
>metal - wouldn't want to try to go through airport secuity :))
There IS a limit...I'll explain it in a momment.
>The intent of the five medal limitation is to keep the gongs from ringing too
>much, also to keep from looking like a military uniform.
Back in 1976, every Council Scout Executive got a letter from the
then-Staff Advisor to the National Uniform and Insignia Committee, the
subject "awards which can be worn on the official uniforms". The
first paragraph established the source that Randy has explained here
and that I think a couple of others wrote too. The second paragraph
really says it:
"Any award which was presented to a Scout or Scouter from a local
Council, Region, or the National Council or on their behalf; any award
which was presented to a Scout or Scouter from organizations or groups
whom are national partners of the BSA (examples listed were the
American Legion, the Elks, the Veterans of Foriegn Wars, the
Parent-Teachers' Association and church bodies; I am sure that we can
come up with more examples); awards presented or purchased as part of
a Cub Scout, Boy Scout or Explorer program (for example, trail medals
or contest awards which sometimes must be purchased prior to or after
the event or activity); and awards presented to Scouters from national
or local organizations in recognition of the Scouter's contributions
to Scouting or to that community (for example, a state award for
public service) ALL may be worn as part of the Scout or Scouters'
uniform. Likewise, any awards presented by military organizations,
federal agencies, or quasi-governmental agencies such as the Tennessee
Valley Authority may also be worn on the field or dress uniforms by
those Scouts or Scouters whom have complied with the requirements or
been honored with the award. We will trust that Scouts and Scouters
will ONLY wear the awards most appropriate for wear at occasions
suitible for their wearing."
This means that, for instance, when I received a Army Commendation
Medal for being the most outstanding Scoutmaster in the European
Theater, that I *could* wear this on my field uniform to a event where
I know that military people will be in attendance; or I *could* wear
the DPSG's award at a dinner where the Ambassador to Germany would be
in attendance; or that I wear the FBI's J.Edgar Hoover medallion at a
meeting of law enforcement officials.
"Local Councils have the authority to create special awards in concert
with national or local Council programs only if they have received
permission from the National Council to do so (this was later revised
to allow local Councils to present awards if they sent a copy of the
award and the requirements to the National Uniform and Insignia
Committee). However, NO LOCAL COUNCIL has the authority to create
special "knot emblems" for any local award. The National Executive
Board and through them, this Committee, has the sole responsibility
for creating additional square knot or other emblems to represent
national or local Council awards (this was done, because there were
several local Councils that created special knots to honor those that
have earned the Arrow of Light Award and the Spurgeon Exploring Award
before the BSA created knots for those two (and other) awards). This
was considered a "slap on the wrists" by National, because it was
starting to get a little out of hand. )."
The next to the last paragraph addresses the knot issue:
"Scouts and Scouters will have the option to wear as many square knot
emblems upon their field uniforms as they wish and as good taste
suggests. All square knots will be worn in accordance with the current
Uniform and Insignia Control Guide, with the order left to the holder
to decide. When wearing the medal or medallion awards, Scouts and
Scouters should be advised to wear only what is deemed in good taste,
normally not more than five medals or three medallions on the field
uniform and normally not more than five medallions with the dress
blazer. While some Scouters will wear more than this number, we are
working hard toward creating additional square knot insignia so
Scouters will not need to wear no more than three medals or medallions
at any given occasion. Local Councils DO NOT have the authority to
create special knot insignia for the Sea Badge nor the Wood Badge
training awards. It is a long-standing policy that those two awards
be presented _without_ any "cloth insignia" to be worn by its
holders..." (it goes onward to state that professionals SHOULD BE
ENCOURAGED to earn and wear training awards and other awards which
were earned or received before or during their professional tenure.
Many Council Scout Executives frowned on their professional staffs
wearing anything BUT a Eagle square knot on their uniforms, even
though many of them reaped huge benefits and much respect from their
volunteers because they "know the game and played it well".)
(the BSA went back in 1985, and allowed local Councils to allow Sea
Exploring and other leaders to wear cloth SeaBadge insignia and later
in 1990, created a stupid-looking "cloth award" (knot) for the
SeaBadge. Most Sea Exploring leaders won't wear it and will instead
wear locally-produced white or dark blue backgrounded Seabadge knots
instead...however, they have NOT stepped back on the Wood Badge "knot"
issue. The reason why we in Exploring have been fighting National on
this issue is one of safety: on board a ship or any moving vessel,
one should NOT have anything around the neck because it could catch
and strangle a person (imagine the headlines: Scouter killed by Wood
Badge beads during canoing expedition! Talk about "voodoo beads"!!)
The last paragragh encouraged the Scout Executive to share this with
their professional staffs and with volunteers through "appropriate
means" and that a statement will be forthcoming in all of the BSA's
publications and magazines (as what always happens...we get the one
paragraph statement in _Scouting_ and in our local Council
Hope that sheds additional light on what the policy is...I've haven't
seen anything contrary to this anywhere else.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
(h) 502-782-7992 (f) 502-781-7279 (w) 502-782-7467 |-=-|]
3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -=====-
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