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Rank patches on the back of a MB sash?

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  • Rank patches on the back of a MB sash?

    At a recent CoH I was asked if it was OK to put old rank patches on the back of the sash when a boy advanced to a new rank. Can anyone tell me the latest policy? I have seen conflicting information and am unsure what is correct.



  • #2

    Short answer to the direct question: No.

    Merit Badge sashes have three sides: Inside (not visible to ordinary observers), the Front (the wearer's front) and the Back.
    The Front is for Merit Badge placement. I have seen Scouts get very particular about that, placing only Eagle required down the middle, arranging them in subject groups, etc. but in rows of three. Note to Parents: ALWAYS buy the long sash, and pin it up if necesary. Scoutson will grow into it. Short sash (and two wide sash) is a waste 99% of the time .
    The Back, according to modern useage, may display MORE Merit Badges and "temporary" patches of note. Camporees, Jamborees, World Conservation award, etc. , but NOT "equipment" patches like the 50 Miler, Paul Bunyan, or "trunk" patches like the Mile Swim, or Life Guard .

    Displaced rank badges should go into the Memory Box in the bottom bureau drawer. After all, if he's a Star now, we know he use to be T,2,F, yes?


    • #3
      Members of our troop have been putting old rank patches on the back of the sashes for quite a while. Maybe it's not exactly correct according to BSA uniform standards, but it's a tradition for our troop.


      • #4
        The BSA tradition is:
        "Members may wear only temporary patches (no badges of rank) on the back of the merit badge sash."

        Under "Excess Insignia" -


        • #5

          Agree Uniform regs state only temp insignia go on the back of the MB sash.

          F Scouter,

          If memory serves, traditionally excess temp patches were not sewn on the back MB sash but either the red jacket, prior to 1972 or thereabouts, or the red vest, which most scouts won't wear b/c it's too often associated with Cubs these days.


          • #6
            I think one way to avoid the over abundance of "bling" is to instill in the youth the fact that their badges should MEAN something and a rank on the left pocket means they have already earned the previous ranks, or they wouldn't be wearing their current rank.

            The emphasis should be on SKILLS not on bling.

            Then again, we need to model the correct attitude. I get sick of going to trainings and seeing adult leaders with more knots above the left pocket than the joint chiefs of staff have ribbons on their uniform! Then add the do-dad training beads, their silver beaver, antelope, wood-badge beads, etc... sheesh !!

            far too many folks, adults and kids, seem to think its about the bling. It needs to be about the skills. If you have skills - you don't need bling to let others know you are a leader and an effective scout.

            This is also why I favor Troop T-shirts on campouts over class-A. It drops the whole, "I outrank you" BS that goes on far too often in troops. The only people who outrank anyone else is the SLP, ASPL, PL, and APL... and that is limited to their role in leadership in the troop.



            • #7
              Thanks FScouter! That was what I was looking for.


              • #8
                I agree with AnniePoo.


                • #9
                  I did not know about the temporary insignia. I think that's a great use of the sash. It keeps the momento box from being cluttered.

                  I got nothing against a boy choosing his favorite activities to promote on his uniform. I agree with Dean that it's a distraction on a lot of activities. But, I feel that the boys showing their tracks is definitely meaningful for CoH's.

                  Moreover, the sash goes in the drawer when you're an adult, right? Make's it clear that we're talking about the boy's story.

                  But, I'm still trying to get son #2 to sew his new POR patch on. Anybody got a video game simulation for that?


                  • #10
                    "Equipment Patch" that is a new one on me. If a boy got a 50 miler I would never fuss if he put it on the back--it is more of an accomplishment than a Camporee patch--you get that for just attendance.

                    But yeah Old Ranks go home. If you are 1st class we KNOW you were 2nd class, tenderfoot, scout by implication.


                    • #11
                      ""Equipment Patch" that is a new one on me. If a boy got a 50 miler I would never fuss if he put it on the back--it is more of an accomplishment than a Camporee patch--you get that for just attendance. "

                      Thing is, not all insignia is intended for the uniform.

                      Some are ONLY for "equipment" (read: your backpack/knapsack). This includes the 50 Miler, Historical Trails Award, and Paul Bunyan Award.

                      Some are ONLY for your swim trunks. Mile Swim, Lifeguard BSA, etc

                      Some are ONLY for NON-uniform clothing. Mainly certain pins.


                      • #12
                        SSScout, emb21: Thanks. I think I had read it briefly a long time ago, but had never absorbed the concept of equipment patches and trunk patches. We never really used them other then as temporary patches. Your answer is consistent with what I found on BSA's site.


                        But still ... I'd be okay if someone put them on the back of their sash. I know my son puts temporary patches on the back of his sash. If he wants to put other patches there (not rank), fine. The issue I have with rank patches is it's a been there done that thing. You've got the new better patch on your shirt. Nothing is communicated by showing the old ones on the back of the sash.


                        • #13
                          qwazse: "But, I'm still trying to get son #2 to sew his new POR patch on. Anybody got a video game simulation for that? "

                          I know I have said several times there should be a sewing merit badge which includes the requirement that all scouts should sew thier own badges on thier uniforms/sashes/duffels....


                          • #14

                            My old troop did the same thing as Annies troop does, on the back of the sash neatly sewn on in order were the old rank patches. The kids wore their sashes for inspections by the UC and at district and council camporees and no one ever said a thing, and no uniform police were crying foul. Sometimes you can get way too anal about trivial things, scouting is for and all about the boys (not the adults), and some adult leaders need to remember to not sweat the small stuff.


                            • #15

                              I have to disagree with you, the rank patches on the back of the sash show a record of the scout's journey in scouting.

                              No harm or foul, IMO.(This message has been edited by BadenP)