Re: BSA: Troop number uniqueness?
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Wed, 30 Nov 1994 15:24:12 CST
Richard Russell <lderlore@XMISSION.COM> writes:
>On Tue, 29 Nov 1994, Rick Busdiecker wrote:
>> Date: Sun, 27 Nov 1994 23:13:15 -0500
>> From: "Jerry M. Withers" <jmwithers@BIX.COM>
>> Jerry M. Withers, ASM, Troop 49, Austin, TX <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Years ago (c. 1973), I was a member of Troop 49 in Ft. Monmouth, NJ.
>> Does the existence of a Troop 49 in Austin mean that the Ft. Monmouth
>> version no longer exists, or is it possible for two BSA troops to have
>> the same number.
>The USA charters the BSA.
>The BSA charters councils.
>The councils, in turn, charter units. Therefore, the number system is
>within the council. Our council (Great Salt Lake -- one of the largest)
>has over 1000 units alone. They use up all unit numbers from 1 through
>999 and then go to 1001 and beyond. There could not possibly be over
>100,000 units in the United States with unique numbers. There will easily
>be some 400 duplicates of at least the first 100 numbers nationwide.
How about 550 duplicates of at least the first 200 unit numbers
worldwide? Alone, the Direct Service Council (serving youth around
the globe from the National Office) has 75 "Troop" or "Pack" 1s, as
every country wants to have their own "Troop 1" and "Pack 1" for
>The numbering system is further organized as to type of unit from the
>same sponsor. For example, my sponsor has four units and our base number
>is 40. Thus the Pack is 3040, the Troop is 40, the Team is 6040 and the
>Post is 9040.
(this is the way that Richard's local Council decided to number their
units; it is NOT a nation-wide method, but it works well for the Great
Salt Lake Area Council).
Let me please piggy-back onto Richard's explanation and explain how
the numbering system works.
Each local Council charters units, as Richard states, and assigns them
a number based up several criteria.
A unit can request a specific number, as my Troop did at Fort Knox
(the 8th of the 1st Cavarly chartered the Troop, and they wanted "8 of
1" or 801 as their unit number), as my Explorer Post did (in choosing
379, that was the month and year of its first chartering) or as several
Explorer units do when they want Post 911 or Post 411 or Ship 111 because
of their speciality (911 in the USA is the number to call in emergencies;
411 is the number to call for information; 111 is used in many ships
because it comes close to the mystical trident).
A District Executive can recommend a number, either to make the
numbering sequence smooth (for instance, all of a District's numbers
can start from "100" and end in "199"), or to "fill in gaps" from
other numbers (for instance, he or she can see that they have Troops
100, 104, 109 and 110; he might recommend that next units chartered in
his or her District be given 101, 102, 103, 105 and 106 to make things
consistent); or that new Packs or Posts/Ships be given numbers that
correspond to a Troop number already in the same District even if the
Pack or Post/Ship and Troop are in two separate communities.
The Council Registrar (a professional-technical position in every
Council; his or her job is to maintain and sent periodic reports to
National and to the Region on the Council's units and to accept and
distribute the yearly charters to the Executives (or to the volunteer
Commissioners) to get to the units for renewal or initial chartering)
can arbitrarily assign any vacant number to any unit that is chartered.
A unit can be assigned a number based on the chartered partner
organization, or "being placed into the family" as it called. Such
units are like Richard explained, except that instead of numbers, they
all are "40"....Pack 40, Team 40, Troop 40, and Post 40. When you get
information from either the Council or from the National office, you
will notice that there is a code that looks something like this:
This is the National Registration number for Explorer Post 801.
(P for Pack, V for Varsity Team, T for Troop, E for Exploring unit)
Districts also have "unit numbers" which start with 8 (for instance,
the District listed on my card reads "8605")
When a local Council sends critical information (for example, Eagle
Scout applications) to the National Office, they place the national
unit number on the information and that number becomes the "tracking
number" for inquires from both volunteers and professionals at the
national level (neat, huh?).
Because of some strange reason that hasn't been explained to me, when
information is sent to the National office, the letters "P, T, E, C,
D" are replaced by numbers "1, 2, 3, 9, 8" (in the above example, the
national unit number of Explorer Post 801 would be 3801; Troop 801
becomes "2801" and Pack 801 becomes "1801")
The "2" refers to the Region in which your unit is located in. As
I've stated before, membership and registration records are shared
between the REGION in which you are registered in (either Northeast,
Southern, Central or Western), and the National Office, with the
Regional office getting the "paper copy" and the National office
getting the "electronic copy". In this way, even if the National
office is wiped out, records can still be retrieved (to a point) from
the four Regional offices to "reconstruct" the National records.
The second number is the LOCAL COUNCIL NUMBER. Each local Council is
numbered in state or territorial alphabetical order (which explains
how come Chocoloco Council in Alabama, and not Pine Tree Council in
Maine, is Council #1). This is the number of the Lincoln Heritage
Council, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.
The next number is the District number. Since Districts change names
from time to time, each District is assigned a number for registration
The final number is the "local unit number". Sometimes this number
may have a "1" or "2" in front of it (as in E2801). This indicates
that the Council has been merged and that one or the other local
Council issued the number. This explains the fact that in several
local Councils that have merged, there may be TWO "Troop 1"s; one of
them on paper is listed as Troop 1 (1001) and the other as Troop 1
The "2" or "1" could also indicate that your local Council has placed
all of it's Exploring units under an Exploring Division rather than a
To answer the basic question, each and every unit is unique. There are
no numbers duplicated on paper records and very few numbers duplicated
in wearing... In those rare instances, it is because that local Council
has merged with another and both of the units are too stubborn to give
up the number to the other for historical reasons.
Each and every District and Council is unique as well.
Hope I didn't confuse you too much...that was a GREAT question,
Rick and Jerry!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
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