When should youth and adults wear the Eagle Scout medal?

expertlogo1Three things signify to others that you’re an Eagle Scout.

You’ve got the oval rank patch, which is only for youth; the square knot, which is only for adults; and the Eagle medal, which is for … whom exactly?

When (and where) adults and youth should wear the Eagle Scout medal is the subject of today’s Ask the Expert.

I checked in with Peter Self, team leader for Member Experience Innovation, to answer this frequently asked question.

Question 1: When is it appropriate for youth members to wear the Eagle Scout medal? On the uniform at any time? On formal occasions only?

Answer 1: The overarching guideline to all awards, including the Eagle rank, is to keep the uniform neat and uncluttered. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t display those awards and recognitions we have earned, but we shouldn’t wear more than is appropriate for our position or the occasion.

In most instances, the Eagle patch and the medal should not be worn at the same time; however, on special occasions, such as courts of honor or special banquets, it would be considered appropriate.

We couldn’t possibly address every circumstance that would arise (honoring a beloved Scoutmaster at his/her memorial service, attending the BSA’s annual Report to the Nation, etc.), so we leave this up to the discretion of the Scout.

If he does choose to wear the medal, he should wear it above the left pocket flap of the uniform.

Question 2: When is it appropriate for adult Eagle Scouts to wear the medal? With their field uniform? With a business suit?

Answer 2: Adults who have earned the Eagle rank should wear the red, white and blue square knot (item No. 5011), which represents the Eagle rank, when in official Scout uniform.

While it is not specifically addressed in official BSA literature, as a matter of convention it is also acceptable for adults to wear the medal on special occasions, such as those noted above. That means either on the field uniform or, if the adult is wearing business attire, on the left lapel or above the left breast pocket of a business suit or sports coat.

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Photo from Flickr: Some rights reserved by Daniel M. Reck