In a room filled with 175 Sea Scouts, odds are just one earned the Quartermaster Award last year.
Finding him or her in this imaginary room won’t be easy, but once you do, you’ll be face-to-face with a young man or young woman who worked tirelessly to earn Sea Scouting’s highest honor. This individual has been active in Sea Scouting, conducted a Quartermaster Project and demonstrated 11 special skills — to name a few of the rigorous requirements.
In 2013, exactly 39 Sea Scouts had a bridge of honor ceremony to receive the award, which has been around since 1930. Consider a Quartermaster bridge of honor ceremony the Sea Scouting equivalent of an Eagle Scout court of honor — only even rarer.
Of the approximately 6,800 Sea Scouts registered in 2013, 0.57 percent earned the Quartermaster Award.
For comparison, of the roughly 1 million Boy Scouts registered last year, about 4 to 5 percent earned the Eagle Scout rank. I’ll have exact Eagle Scout numbers from 2013 in a month or two.
So how does 2013’s Quartermaster Award number compare to previous years? Check out this handy chart:
In other words:
- 12 in 2008
- 20 in 2009
- 28 in 2010
- 39 in 2011
- 33 in 2012
- 39 in 2013
Since 2008, Sea Scouting has seen the number of annual Quartermaster Award recipients more than triple. Numbers from previous years aren’t available.
One final thought on my comparison of the Quartermaster and Eagle Scout awards: Both are equally impressive, and saying that one’s rarer isn’t meant to diminish the accomplishments of those who earn the other. My point is to acknowledge that if you happen to see a Quartermaster Award recipient out there, be sure to shake his or her hand. There simply aren’t many around.
Big thanks to Keith Christopher and Natasha Leahey-Sayles for the info.