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Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

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  • Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    I have read that insignia intended for youth are not worn by adult members of the Boy Scouts of America, and I can agree with it for the most part with one exception...I would like to see those who earn the Eagle rank be allowed to wear the rank patch until they reach age 21.

    I have seen several Eagle Scouts that would not remove the Eagle rank patch and replace it with the red,whit and blue stranded square knot. As I am not an Eagle, far be it for me to tell them they cant wear such a recognized and respected mark of achievment as represented by the rank badge (not the knot). Those Eagles I refer to are still in college and not yet fact the Eagle still wearing it has told me he wont take it off until he turns 21, and I agree with and support his position...what say you out there on the board?

  • #2
    Why at 21?


    • #3
      Probably because so many earn Eagle right before they turn 18 so they feel slighted because they can't wear it.

      It's pretty simple, in Boy Scouts you become an adult at 18, just like in the real world you become an adult at 18 (for most things). So if you stay involved, you dress as an adult. Not too complicated.


      • #4
        I know the uniform police are going to get me on this one, but it was common for 18 yo adults to wear the Eagle patch on their uniform until 19. Then it came off. That was while I was a 18YO ASM. When they started the Venture Crew, then everyone wore their Eagle Patches after they turned 18 per uniform policy on the Venturing shirt.


        • #5
          Need to modify that last statement I made, In my old troop it was common for 18 YO eagle to wear it until they turned 19.


          • #6
            I earned Eagle at age 16, but was in an Explorer Post and never got to wear the rank patch. The left pocket on the Exploring uniform had the Explorer emblem on it. So I just wore the RWB square knot with dark green background. The rule is that 18 year olds are adults. Adults do not wear rank patches.


            • #7
              The majority of the adult Eagle Scouts that kept wearing the youth badge that I know didn't switch to the knot because they were too lazy to do all the sewing to switch a uniform around.

              I don't see the big deal. The Square Knot represents the accomplishment. The badge represents the accomplishment. Policy says wear the knot, that should be good enough. There is no real good reason to say you can wear the Eagle badge until you are 21.

              Either way, the cloth you wear shouldn't tell the world you are an Eagle Scout, your actions should.


              • #8
                My Eagle COH took place after I was 18 years old. There was much hard work involved in getting there and a lot of Scouting fun. My personal opinion is that I look at 13 year old Eagles and wonder how much they have really gotten from the program. Sure, they earned the badges, but do they really have the Eagle Mindset? Doubtful at that age. But that is fodder for another thread...

                In any case, I never really got to wear the award on my pocket. But I proudly wear the knot 32 years later. And every appropriate chance I get, I wear my Eagle Medal. Yes, I am proud of it. No,I don't do it to say to others "Hey, look at me!". But it is the greatest achievement in my life and it makes me feel good to acknowledge it.

                Now, think back to those newly minted Eagles who at 18 never get to wear the patch. Sure the knot "means" the same. We adults understand that. But at 18 years old, there is still a lot of boy left in those young men. We treat OA members as youth until 21. Can we not also say it is OK for young men to wear the Eagle Badge (and only the Eagle badge) until they are 21. I can't imagine what it could possibly harm.

                I would be strongly in favor of changing uniform policy to accomodate this. And if I saw a young man under 21 still wearing his Eagle? I would give him a firm left hand shake and say "Job well done"!


                • #9
                  I earned my eagle 6 months before I turned 16 and wore it proudly. My parents presented me with a new uniform at 18 with the Eagle Knot. would I have continued to wear it? I think so. Saying that I jump forward in time to when I took over as Scoutmaster, the previous Sm wore the Eagle Rank badge. When asked why he responded that most boys dont know or care what the knot is and that the badge ment something. I dont wear it now but I also dont police the 18 to 21 year olds to remove theirs. I feel it says something to the boys when they see these young men staying around wearing the Eagle.


                  • #10
                    Yah, I reckon it's completely fine for a lad to wear the badge at least until he's out of high school, eh?

                    Seems to me they can wear the badge on Venturing green until 21. I wonder if that means as youth members in OA they can wear the badge until they're 21 on Boy Scout khaki?

                    Not worth fightin' over. I reckon a lad should be allowed to wear the badge at least long enough to get some enjoyment out of it, and inspire others with it. So if he Eagled at 17.9, give him at least a year's grace. At some point, it'll get old and he'll want to transition to the knot to feel more adult-like. At least if he can sew!



                    • #11
                      One should wear the rank patch if they are registered as a youth, the knot if registered as an adult and neither if they are not registered.

                      My biggest beef is boys who earn the Eagle rank right before 18, don't register as adults or youth when their current registration comes up for renewal and then show up in uniform to ECOHs for their "friends" in their youth uniform proudly displaying their rank badge.


                      • #12
                        "When they started the Venture Crew, then everyone wore their Eagle Patches after they turned 18 per uniform policy on the Venturing shirt. "

                        In Venturing, you may wear the patch until your are 21 on the Venturing uniform, because you are still a youth.

                        However, most Venturers wear the knot, and not the patch. In fact, the Venturing Youth Cabinet encourage the wearing of the knot after 18.

                        (PS its Venturing Crew, not Venture Crew)


                        • #13
                          It baffles me how so many people can simply ignore the Insignia Guide. It's very clear, and opinions opposed to it are simply inaccurate. There is not argument (a Scout is Obedient). If they could wear the Eagle patch, then why not a First Class or Life patch? It's the same thing: a rank. A youth rank patch worn with an adult position patch is incorrect. If they could wear the Eagle patch instead, they should also be allowed to wear the youth patch for the Arrow of Light. Is that an argument worth pursuing? It just makes no sense. If you're a troop (or pack) member, you're an adult at 18. Dress accordingly and appropriately. You're an adult ... one of your most important roles is to set the example. I don't think that should include wearing in inaccurate uniform.


                          • #14
                            "It baffles me how so many people can simply ignore the Insignia Guide. It's very clear, and opinions opposed to it are simply inaccurate."

                            Some ignore it because they aren't aware of it.

                            And I would disagree that its clear. Some people are still confused by it.

                            Worse, you have people who don't understand that the Insignia Guide tells you WHO can wear WHAT in what location. Some seem to be looking for something that says that someone CAN'T wear something or that something ISN'T worn in a location, when that's not how the guide is written.


                            • #15
                              I don't think the discussion here is much about what the Insignia Guide says. I think it's more about what would we like to see change if we had the chance.

                              I think it might be an interesting study to ask the following:

                              1. Let us know if you would be in favor of an 18-21 Year old Adult Leader being allowed to wear his Eagle Badge (and only the Eagle Badge).

                              2. Are you an Eagle Scout.

                              I have a feeling how the survey might turn out, but let's see...