Quartermaster Award (Boy Scouts of America)

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Quartermaster Award
Quartermaster Award.png
Medal, badge, and knot
CountryUnited States
FounderBoy Scouts of America
 Scouting portal

The Quartermaster Award is the highest rank attainable in the Sea Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America.[1][2]


The award consists of a medal suspended from a blue ribbon; the ribbon is suspended from a silver colored bar bearing the design of a double carrick bend knot. The medal is a silver ship's wheel with a compass inscribed inside the wheel and bearing the Sea Scouting emblem consisting of the universal BSA insignia superimposed on an anchor.[3]

The blue stands for the loyalty to country; the compass suggests the importance of a carefully chosen direction in life; the wheel reminds Sea Scouts that they are the guides of their own future; the anchor reminds the Sea Scout that a truly worthy life must be anchored in duty to God.[3]

The badge is a cloth patch bearing the wheel and compass emblem on a blue background with a silver border. Recipients may wear the corresponding square knot insignia, with a white knot on a blue background on the BSA uniform.


After completing all previous ranks, Apprentice, Ordinary, and Able, the Sea Scout can earn the Quartermaster Award.[1]

  • Ideals: Must lead a discussion on "the Sea Promise" and submit a report on improvements regarding the ship's program.[1]
  • Membership: Meet the active membership requirements of your ship for six months. Present a talk on Sea Scouting.[1]
  • Leadership: Plan and carry out a service Project and an overnight cruise. Serve as a ship's officer for six months and conduct ILSS training for your ship.[1]

Special Skills: Complete the 8 special skills required for Quartermaster, which include:[1]

    • Swimming
    • Safety
    • Marlinspike Seamanship
    • Boat Handling
    • Ground Tackle
    • Navigation
    • Weather
    • Environment
  • Electives: Complete four of the level three electives in: leadership, duty to god, sailing, paddling, vessels, racing, engine, vessel maintenance, electricity, rigging, special proficiency, ornamental rope work, maritime traditions, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, or United States Power Squadrons.[1]

After completion of requirements, the Sea Scout needs to receive approval from the Skipper, typically by a conference, the Quarterdeck, by the Boatswain at the Quarterdeck Meeting, the Ship Committee, and the Council Advancement Committee by Bridge of Review.[1]


It is currently unknown when the Quartermaster Award was introduced, however the first recorded Quartermaster was in May 1929. On December 12, 1930, the Quartermaster badge was approved by the National Executive board. It cost $3.00. Extensive changes to advancement requirements were made in October 1938 by the National Sea Scouting Committee. On September 1, 1949 Sea Exploring was created. The only change in name was from Sea Scouts to Sea Explorers, or Quartermaster Explorers. [4]

Year Quartermaster Awards Registered Sea Scouts
2015 37
2014 37 [5]
2013 39
2012 33
2011 39
2010 28
2009 20
2008 12
1966 82 18,210
1962 124[4] 26,751

Highest awards in other programs[edit]

The Quartermaster Award is the highest award in Sea Scouting. The highest awards in other BSA membership divisions are: the Cub Scouting Arrow of Light,[6] the Scouts BSA Eagle Scout[7] and the Venturing Summit Award,[8] Other Scouting movements and many non-Scouting organizations have similar programs and awards.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Awards Central". Boy Scouts of America. 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "Suffolk Sea Scout helps rebuild a part of her city". Suffolk News-Herald. July 25, 2004.
  3. ^ a b Sea Scout Manual. Boy Scouts of America. 2002. p. 84.
  4. ^ a b "A Chronology of Sea Scouting in the United States" (PDF). Sea Scouting. April 15, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  5. ^ "37 New Quartermasters in 2014". Sea Scouts, BSA.
  6. ^ "Arrow of Light Badge Requirements". U.S. Scouting Service Project. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
  7. ^ "Eagle Rank Requirements". U.S. Scouting Service Project. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
  8. ^ "Silver Award Overview". U.S. Scouting Service Project. Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2009.