Seascout-Net Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: Support for Ribbons
Re: Support for Ribbons
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 01:21:39 -0400
Our Ship 502 in the Sam Houston Area Council has adopted ribbon
recognition borrowed from one of our sister ships 720 as follows:
* to recognize stand alone accomplishments equivalent to some
merit badges, if you will, such as the three swimming requirements for
Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster. Small boat cooking (a deviation from
the cooking merit badge) has a ribbon as does canoeing, scuba
certifications, and a few others.
* to recognize prior Scouting achievements such as the Eagle
ribbon worn by Texas A&M Corp of Cadets (also Girl Scout Gold Award).
* to signify partial completion of an advancement course. For
instance, the Small Boat Handler certification is divided into two parts
and, after completion of one part, a ribbon is awarded and worn until
the bar is awarded. The Certified Seaman program is divided into three
parts, with ribbons awarded for sectional completion. The partial
completion ribbons are not worn after the bar is earned.
* to recognize course completions such as Power Squadron or
USCGA Boating Courses.
We are careful to use ribbons so as not to offend Vets (I am one). We
use some of the Law Enforcement (Explorer) ribbons and others from High
School ROTC. There are a ton of non offending ribbons available.
I won't take a position either for or against ribbons in lieu of merit
badges or for partial completion of a larger award, but I won't
encourage it. However, I too would like to see some form of recognition
wearable on the uniform for: certified SCUBA divers; completion of
boating safety courses from the USCGAux, USPS, or USSail, or your
state's BLA; CG licensed officers - especially captains; First Aid/CPR
I won't take a position either for or against ribbons as the form of
recognition, but I will say:
(1) they should be pin-on devices, not sewn-on;
(2) they should be wearable on work as well as dress uniforms;
(3) they should be worn either on/below the left pocket (where the Small
Boat Handler and Qualified Seaman bars are worn) or on the right pocket
(where other temporary insignia may be worn);
(4) they should not be mutually exclusive, either amongst themselves or
with other qualifications such as the SBH/QS bars ... you should be able
to wear all of them you have earned concurrently;
(5) they should be earnable/wearable by both youth and adults.
They don't all need to be the same form, and "we" (the BSA, NSSC, Ship's
Store, etc) don't necessarily need to supply them ... I have pins from
the Red Cross (gold "square knot" size rectangle with red "First Aid"
lettering, gold "square knot" size rectangle with red "CPR" lettering,
red square about "square knot" height with white "Life Guard" lettering
in a circle representing a ring buoy), and I think both NAUI and PADI
have lapel-type pins available for their graduates ... we could/should
take advantage of those and simply adopt a policy stating where on the
uniform they are authorized to be worn. For that matter, almost any
store that makes plastic embossed name plates could duplicate my ARC
pins ... We could adopt that as the "standard" design, and either supply
them through Ship's Stores or let each ship have them made locally.
As for recognition of SBLA or USCGAux/USPS/USSail course completion:
I'll offer the observation that I think the current Small Boat Handler /
Qualified Seaman programs predate the trend for states to require
certification of young power boaters, and the BSA requirement for
certification of adult power boat operators. The SBH requirements are
fairly similar to the NYS 8 hour YBSC, and the QS requirements are
fairly similar to the USCGAux/USPS 20-30 hour public education courses.
(I'm not familiar with the USSail course.) The big differences are that
both the SBH and QS courses both require "underway" experience while
none of the certification classes require this. Perhaps the
requirements for the SBH bar should be changed to be "complete your
state's 8 hour boating safety course" and the requirements for the QS
bar should be "complete the 20+ hour USCGAux/USPS public education
course"? (And whichever is appropriate for the USSail course.)
Perhaps keeping the "underway" requirements as an addition? Or perhaps
Mark Ritter - RitterME@stny.lrun.com - Committee Member
Sea Scout Ship 90 - The S.S.S. North Star - New Milford PA
To leave Seascout-Net, send the following message to <email@example.com>: