Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

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Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

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Level:Adult Eagle Scouts

The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) is the only distinguished service recognition that depends on one's association with Scouting as a youth. The recipient must have attained the Eagle Scout rank a minimum of 25 years before his nomination, and over those years he must have rendered outstanding service to others. The recipient must also have gained status of fame or eminence in their life work, and have shared their talents with their communities on a voluntary basis.



The DESA award consists of a gold eagle suspended from a red, white, and blue ribbon worn around the neck. No. 00330. The knot is the Eagle Scout knot (No. 05011) worn with the DESA miniature pin, No. 00094. The eagle uses the same design as on the Eagle Scout medal. The Distinguished Eagle Scout medal is worn in place of the regular Eagle Scout medal for Eagle Scout-related ceremonies. The recipient is also presented with an engraved bronze plaque and may also be made a member of the Board of Regents of the National Eagle Scout Association.

The award is granted by the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) upon nomination by a local council and selection by a committee of nationally prominent DESA recipients.


The DESA was first introduced in 1969 and awarded by the National Eagle Scout Association. Prior to the establishment of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, the only "gold Eagle Scout badge" was awarded to Dan Beard at the Second National Training Conference of Scout Executives held in 1922 in Blue Ridge, North Carolina.

As of the end of 2005, 1,835,410 Scouts had earned the rank of Eagle. Since its introduction in 1969, the DESA has only been awarded to just under 2000 of those Scouts. Thus, only about 1 of every 1000 Eagle Scouts has received the award.


Distinguished Eagle Scout Award recipients have included:

  • Gerald R. Ford - 38th President
  • Neil Armstrong - astronaut and first man on the moon
  • Steven Spielberg - Academy Award-winning film director
  • Steve Fosset - billionaire and aviation pioneer
  • Sam Walton - founder of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club the largest single employer in the world
  • William S. Sessions - former FBI Director
  • H. Ross Perot, founder of Electronic Data Systems and The Perot Group, former presidential candidate
  • Donald H. Rumsfeld - former United States Secretary of Defense
  • William C. Westmoreland - retired general
  • Richard G. Lugar - senator
  • J. J. Pickle - former United States Representative
  • Donald F. Wright, senior vice president, Times Mirror Co.
  • Lamar Alexander - Senator from Tennessee; previously Governor of Tennessee and Secretary of Education
  • Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. - four-term senator from Texas and nominee for vice president
  • William W. Bradley - Rhodes Scholar, former star basketball player who later became a senator and presidential candidate
  • James Brady - gun control advocate and former White House Press Secretary who was shot during the Reagan assassination attempt
  • Michael S. Dukakis - former governor of Massachusetts and former presidential candidate
  • William H. Gates Sr. - Lawyer and CEO of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, father of Bill Gates
  • William Hanna - animator, director, producer, cartoon artist, and co-founder of Hanna-Barbera
  • William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt - considered to be the father of American Boy Scouting and the Scoutmaster to the World
  • James Lovell - astronaut who flew on missions Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13
  • J. W. Marriott, Jr. - Chairman and CEO of Marriott International
  • Samuel K. Skinner - served as Secretary of Transportation and White House Chief of Staff

Distinguished Service Awards

The Boy Scouts of America recognizes the need to acknowledge the invaluable services that men and women render to youth. Of the millions of registered adult volunteers in Scouting, only a select few are presented distinguished service awards at these level:


See also

External Links

National Eagle Scout AssociationOfficial BSA website

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