Ask the Expert: Does Bugler fulfill the “position of responsibility” for the Eagle Scout award?

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Today's question comes from Arlene Freeman, a Scouter in Austin, Tex. She writes:

Does the Bugler position fulfill the "position of responsibility" for Eagle Scout?
If it does, when did the position become effective for Eagle rank?

The simple answer is: No, it doesn't count as a position of responsibility. For the explanation, we went to Michael Lo Vecchio, program assistant for youth development. Here's his answer:

Bugler is not a leadership position for Eagle Scout. It was inadvertently listed in the new 12th edition of the BSA Handbook, the 2010 Boy Scout Requirements book, and on the and Web sites. It has been removed from the Eagle Scout Rank Application.

The sites and books are in the process of being updated. Thanks for the question, Arlene!


  1. Darn Shame 🙁 While I intellectually understand that a Bugler is not a “leader” I shake my head. My unit is Chartered to a VFW post, these men and women who served their country and their fellow citizens are due one last measure of respect, Military Honors at their Funeral Service.
    Unfortunately there is a drastic shortage of those willing and/or able to play the Bugle. It has resulted in things like this A pale shadow of having a true Bugler in my opinion.
    I sure would like to see them reconsider this decision with the provision that the Bugler has performed at a certain number of Military Funerals and has worked to promote bugling by tutoring other Scouts (you know, providing leadership). BSA helped during the war, how can we forget those who served now?

  2. Can some one tell me what we do with a Life scout that has bugler as his only position of responsibility and want to use that toward his Eagle Rank. He does not have enough time before he is 18 years old to hold another position.

  3. this is just stupid – why pick on buglers – why only for eagle – and we are then told by council to tell the scout to lie on his form – because that’s somehow a better solution than allowing him credit for the work he did – far more work – and far more noticed work – than most of the leadership positions

  4. Is this the policy? Elsewhere I heard that because of this “typo,” boys that started working from the 2010 book were indeed allowed to work from the requirements in this book.

  5. My son is his unit bugler… unfortunally he doesnt get leadership credit for it so he must be bugler and chaplains aid at the same time but will only get to wear his chaplain aid patch. I believe buglers work harder than chaplain aid, historian and others in that they must keep practicing, perform etc. A bugler has to be the first up in a camp to wake everyone. A bugler works hard and an incentive to promote bugling would be to include them in the leadership position. You dont have to command or tell others what to do to be a leader… Doing things on your own like shinning your bugle, practicing your tunes and performing them when required show leadership…some people dont understand this and believe that leadership is being in front of a group leading or talking… BTW Bugling merit badge was going to get axed but it was saved at last…

  6. My question is does it still count as leadership credit for the ranks of star and life? It looks like it does but this has me wondering?

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