Who can wear the Journey to Excellence patch on their uniform?

When a professional basketball or hockey team wins a championship, the players aren’t the only ones awarded rings.

Everyone in the organization — the head coach, the trainers, even the person who refills those little cups of sports drink — gets recognized in a tangibly shiny way.

The same logic applies when a pack, troop or crew earns Journey to Excellence recognition.

Everyone who has a role in the unit that earned Scouting honors deserves to wear the JTE pin or patch.

In some units, confusion persists about who wears the JTE patch in a qualifying unit. That’s the case in David’s troop, so he emailed me for clarification.

I hope you can assist me. My troop recently earned the Journey to Excellence award.

My son got his patch, and so did I. However, my wife was told that since she is on the committee and not an assistant Scoutmaster, she could not have one. Is this correct?

I have been l combing through everything I can search for on JTE, but I cannot find who can and cannot wear the patch. Do you know where I should search for this?

Yours in Scouting,


What is Journey to Excellence?

Quick sidebar for people who might be hearing about JTE for the first time.

Journey to Excellence, often shortened to JTE, is a self-evaluation tool that lets unit leaders see, quantitatively, how well their unit is meeting the goals of Scouting.

Think of it as a progress report. You can check in regularly to make sure you’re delivering the best possible program for our Scouts and Venturers.

Units earn points toward bronze, silver or gold JTE status — with gold being the highest.

Members of those units that achieve gold, silver or bronze status are eligible to wear the JTE patch. It goes on the right sleeve under the patrol patch — or about 4 inches from the top of the sleeve.

Read more about JTE in this explainer.

Who can wear the JTE patch?

With that covered, let’s go back to David’s question.

For the answer, I checked with Jeff Rand, a JTE expert who works on the BSA’s performance management team.

Jeff says a JTE award is something everyone in the unit can — and should — celebrate.

Yes, that means the front-line assistant Scoutmaster or den leader who attends every meeting, campout and event.  But just as important, it means the pack or troop committee member whose efforts behind the scenes keep the unit running smoothly.

From Jeff:

Journey to Excellence uses a balanced approach to measure a successful unit. In doing so everyone in the unit has a role in its success, both youth and adult.

For example, committee members are engaged in developing a planned budget, fundraising, recruiting youth members, and selecting adult leaders — all of which are JTE measures.

Therefore, all registered youth and adults are entitled to wear the appropriate JTE patch as an emblem of their unit’s success.

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About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.