scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Medals Questions
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Thu May 06 1993 - 18:06:34 CDT
David Sanderson wrote and asked:
>I've read /skimmed the Insignia Guide and Mike Walton's
>fantastic web pages, but I still have some questions about
Thanks for the compliment!!
>Back in the late 60's and early 70's I belonged to a Troop
>that went on quite a few Historic Trails hikes, mostly in
>Illinois and Iowa. Back then, we received or simply bought
>a patch and a medal for the applicable hike. I still have all
>of my medals and I used to wear all of them on my uniform
>as a youth. I didn't see anything in the insignia guide
>stating that only training, religious, or meritorius service
>type medals can be worn. As such, can my Eagle Award,
>Scouter's Key, and hike medals, for a max total of five, be
>worn on my adult uniform (for "formal" occasions of course)?
Yes. The only reason why I don't have any trail medals displayed on
my Insignia site is because when I left for college, my nine trail medals (along
with my Certificate of Heroism and some other nice, great stuff I would love
to show my kids today!) are sitting in a landfill somewhere under dirt I'm
and have more than likely deteriorated to a point where the only things they
would be good for is to sprinkle on new plant growth. Mom tossed them
because "I'm grown up now, and I don't need that old Boy Scout stuff..."
I have managed to get one of my trail medals back, at a substantial cost,
one of the medals I received from the American Legion. The BSA sent me a
Heroism Award when they upgraded the Certificate; but I would have rather
had the Certificate because it was signed by the Scout Executive that I
thought an awful lot of, Halsey Cory Jr.
(sorry about the detour there...it still bothers me... *sour face*)
Back to your question: yes, those FIVE MEDALS can be five medals of YOUR
OWN CHOOSING, considering that they are NOT military medals. Military award
medals cannot be worn on the BSA uniform any more. ONE such medal used to
be allowed (the BSA made that decision so that holders of the Antartica
Service Medal, those Scouts that were chosen once a year to go to the South
Pole with the National Science Foundation can wear the medal formally). The
NSF created a square knot so that those few holders could be recognized
informally, but the BSA determined that since the program was coming to an
end (or so they thought), that they would not allow Scouts and Scouters to
wear the military medal anymore.
Someone else wrote me concerning NRA (National Rifle Association) medals.
Yes, they can STILL be worn FORMALLY with that same five medal restriction.
The NRA used to have a formalized rifle marksmanship program leading to some
nice medals for Scouts to wear on the uniform, and the BSA at that time
permitted them to be worn. That permission has not went away, because some
Councils still use the NRA's program (although they don't like to yell it
out very loudly that they do!) as part of their marksmanship program at camp.
>I haven't heard of any local Troops attending such hikes
>so I don't know if these hikes still exist or if patches and
>medals are still available. Are these patches and medals
>still available to hikers?
Yep. As a matter of fact, David, at Fort Snelling, where I work, is a
eight-mile trail which goes around the park area and some of the earlier
parts of the old base. There's a medal and patch which are available from
both Indianhead/BSA and Viking Councils as well as from the visitors' center
at Fort Snelling State Park.
>Mike Walton's web page,
>nicely shows, among others, the Scouter's Key and Scouter
>Training Awards, which are represented as "pocket"
>medals. As it turns out, these appear to be the only BSA
>medals, besides Eagle Award (Religious Medals are not
>BSA awarded). Can anyone tell us why BSA chose to use
>pocket medals for the Scouter's Key and Scouter Training
>Awards, but not for others, such as the Den Leader,
>Cubmaster, which are neck medallions?
(Thanks for the plug!)
You haven't been around Scouting long enough to remember that the old Den
Mother's Training Award (which was later renamed the Den Leader Training
Award) and the Den Leader Coach Training Award were both medals the same
size of the Scouters' Key and Scouters' Training Award medals. I earned
both awards in my Cub Scouting days, but I received the Den Leader Award
because of the time period. (I later bought a Den Leader Training Award for
display in the officeroom.)
The Cub Scout Division decided that in order to prevent females from being
embarrassed every time they would formally wear the Key or Training
Award(s), that ALL of their Cub Scouting training and service recognitions
be of the pendant type, suspended from various colored ribbon and worn
around the neck of the Cub Scouter. It was universal and very attractive.
The Cub Scout Division tried to get the Boy Scout Division to go along with
it, and the Boy Scout Division Director said "forget it."
(for most females, the bustline crosses where the pockets are, forcing some
women to wear the medals above and some below the bustline. It *does* bring
undue attention to that part of the body when medals are worn)
Exploring used the same Scouters' Training Award and Scouters' Key until
1976, when new lapel pins for the Advisor's Key and the Exploring Leader
Training Award was made available, at the insistance of many Exploring
leaders whom did not own a "boy scout uniform" and did not want to wear a
"boy scout medal" on their DDI (Distinctive Dress Idenity).
Venturing leaders use the same medals for the Scouters' Key and Scouters'
Training Award as Boy Scouters do.
>I've been told, although I've seen no corroborative
>evidence in my Insignia Guide, that only two neck
>medallions can be worn at any given time. Is this true
It's NOT true. You should wear as MANY "pendant-type awards" as your neck
and personal modesty will allow, David. Some Cub Scouters have earned all
six Awards, and will choose to wear all six at the same time; other Scouters
will wear one, two or three such necklace-type awards. I personally "swap
out" my five, choosing to wear one or two at formal occassions along with my
Wood Badge. Sometimes, I don't wear ANY of them, opting only for the Wood
Badge training award.
>IMHO, wearing any neck medallions hides other
>"awards" worn around the neck, such as Wood Badge Beads.
Not if you wear your Wood Badge the RIGHT WAY, they don't. *smiling*
Great questions....I'll add this to the Insignia site later this evening!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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