scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Patrol Leader Patch
nathan alan beauheim (beauheim@UNM.EDU
Thu Mar 16 2000 - 07:56:34 CST
On Tue, 16 Mar 1993, (MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle) wrote:
> Candy and Dave Scarlett asked:
> >Can any one tell my son (and I) what the 2 stripes on the patrol leader
> >patch stand for or represent? He has been asked by an adult and we have not
> >yet been able to find an answer.
> The two stripes (originally green now silver in your son's case) means that
> he's a Patrol Leader. It is a holdover (tradition) from the old BSA rank
> which existed since it's start...
Gotta disagree with part of this. The bars WERE silver on the older,
round, green-backed patches. On the newer tan-backed patches, the bars
are back to green.
> The Senior Patrol Leader wore three complete bars, green in color. Later,
> the three complete bars became two complete and one "half" bar. When the
> "improved Scouting program" came into being, the green bars became silver bars.
Again, gotta disagree. The SPL, used to wear two and a half green bars,
but they had become three full bars by the time the green-backed patches
came out. And, these too are back to green.
> The Assistant Senior Patrol Leader wore two complete and one "half" bar,
> also green bars. Later, the "half" bar was dropped and the two green bars
> became the symbol for the ASPL. When the "improved Scouting program" came
> into being, the green bars became gold bars.
ASPL's wear two and a half bars.
> In both the Senior and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader's badges of position,
> the First Class Badge was placed over those bars because it was first
> tradition and later policy (at that time) that in order to hold those
> positions, a Scout must be a First Class Scout or better.
> The Patrol Leader's emblem was two green bars with NO First Class badge over
> them. The Assistant Patrol Leaders' emblem was one green bar again with NO
> First Class Badge over them. When the "improved Scouting program" came
> around, the Patrol Leader's bars became silver and the Assistant Patrol
> Leaders' bar became gold.
At the same time the PL bars became silver, and the APL bars became gold,
the Tenderfoot emblem was added on top. In fact, (oddly enough), on
green-backed patches, the ASPL and SPL patches also have the Tenderfoot
emblem. On the (current) tan-backed patches, the APL and PL are back to
having no emblem, while the ASPL and SPL have the First Class Emblem in
gold and silver respectively. And, FWIW, the Troop Guide also wears two
green bars like a PL, except the TG's are "lower". (Imagine the three
bars of the SPL patch. A PL wear the upper two. A TG wears the lower
two.) The TG also wears a First Class Emblem on his badge in red.
> The colors are important becase the leadership of the Troop all wear
> position badges made of silver (grey): The Scoutmaster, Senior Patrol Leader
> and Patrol Leaders all have badges with that color thread. Their Assistants
> wore emblems with gold (yellow) thread. This too is a holdover from the
> old days whereby all leaders of the Troop had "green bars", as in the "green
> bar patrol", the leadership of the Troop (and Bill "Green Bar Bill"
> Hillcourt, the BSA's national trainer and advisor to all Troop leadership
Much of this delineation was eliminated in 1990 with the introduction of
the tan-backed patchs, though a fair amount still survives in the various
Commishioner, District and Council Committee, and Exec. patches. The only
problem, is that it's hard to get all these patches in one place at the
same time to figure out what the various color represent.
> Cub Scouting and Exploring also used a similar version of the bars with
> regard to their youth leadership.
> It's tradition. A good tradition, but ever much so a tradition. There isn't
> any other symbolism which is explained in any BSA publication now or back
> then that gives any other explaination which I've found so far...
So, to answer the original question: That's just the way it is.
> Hope that helps out!
ASM-Order of the Arrow and Youth Leadership
Troop 459, Great Southwest Council
Coffee is the most important meal of the day.
> (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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