Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award

The Quartermaster Award is the highest award in Sea Scouts and is as important as the Eagle Scout Award. It stands for excellence and is a reminder that as a ship needs a rudder, a compass, and a moving force to reach its destination, so an individual must be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight to achieve worthwhile goals in life. It represents fulfillment. It results from a young adult’s determination to reach goals that he or she has set and achieved in spite of difficulties along the way.

The award is rich in symbolism. The blue ribbon stands for loyalty and country. The compass suggests the importance of carefully chosen direction in life. The wheel reminds us that we are the guide of our own future and that we must persevere with self-discipline. The Scout badge, the emblem of purposeful brotherhood, has challenged and strengthened the lives of more than 40 million men. It shows Sea Scouting as an important part of the Scouting tradition. The anchor reminds us that a truly worthy life must be anchored in duty to God.

This badge of color, beauty, and symbolism, but most of all, challenge, awaits every Sea Scout who has the determination to achieve excellence.


  1. Ideals—Has initiated a discussion of the ideal stated in the Sea Promise and has prepared a written analysis offering recommendations for improvements of one of the following ship’s program: bylaws and code, training, ceremonies, quarterdeck meetings, recruiting, or fundraising.
  2. Membership—Has met the ship’s bylaws requirement for active participation in ship’s meetings and activities for six months, and has presented a talk on Sea Scouts to an adult organization.
  3. Leadership—Has completed a service project, has served as an officer for six months, and has commanded a 40-consecutive-hour cruise, or planned and led a paddlecraft cruise with at least four paddlecraft for at least two days or successfully completed SEAL.
  4. Swimming—Has completed BSA Lifeguard or another certified lifesaving course.

Has finished the requirements listed in the following strands:

5. Safety
6. Marlinspike Seamanship
7. Boat Handling
8. Ground Tackle
9. Navigation Rules
10. Piloting and Navigation
11. Weather
12. Environment
13. Electives—Completed four level 3 electives from the following list:

  • Leadership
  • Duty to God
  • Sailing
  • Paddlecraft
  • Vessels
  • Racing
  • Engines
  • Vessel Maintenance
  • Specialty Proficiency
  • Ornamental Ropework
  • Maritime Tradition
  • United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • United States Power Squadron


Give the application for rank advancement to your Skipper, who will present it to the officers at their monthly meeting. As they review your application, they are primarily concerned with your understanding of the ideals of Sea Scouts as demonstrated by your participation in ship activities. Ordinarily, you will not attend this meeting.

At the quarterdeck meeting, the officers either approve or decline your application. An application for the Quartermaster Award must also be approved by the ship committee and the district or council advancement committee. Following this, the Quartermaster application is forwarded to the National Council.

If your application is not approved, the Skipper returns it to you with an explanation. He or she will help you make corrections so you can submit it again.

Bridge of Honor

As soon as possible after an application has been reviewed and approved, it should be forwarded through the proper channels. The badge is secured and then presented at an impressive ceremony soon after it has been earned.

The bridge of honor is the ideal occasion for presenting awards. Traditionally, the bridge of honor is held in connection with a social affair. Although this is a good idea, it need not always be done this way.

It is important that each Sea Scout get his or her award as soon as possible. Sometimes there is an unavoidable delay between the date of approval and the bridge of honor. If this happens, the award may be presented informally at a ship meeting and then presented again formally at your next bridge of honor.

Coast Guard Recognition

Sea Scouts who earn the Quartermaster award can also receive a recognition certificate from the United States Coast Guard. To obtain a certificate, the Sea Scout ship Skipper or committee chairperson should send a request, including the recipient's name; date of the award; ship number and name; and the name, address, and telephone number of a contact person to:

Mr. Stephan Reckie, BBLYB
14073 West 1st Drive
Golden, CO 80401-5263

This certificate should be presented along with the award at the recipient's bridge of honor. Be sure to send your request at least six weeks in advance to ensure that the certificate will have arrived on time.

Supply Information

The Quartermaster Award medal is available only through the national Supply Group for those candidates who have qualified. Councils (only) may order these pieces from the BSA National Distribution Center:

  • Quartermaster Award medal, No. 14119
  • Quartermaster pocket certificate card, No. 33645
  • Embroidered emblem, No. 4100
  • Square knot, No. 05009
  • Quartermaster lapel pin, No. 4051

Items available for Quartermaster from the National Council through the National Outdoor Programs/Properties Department are:

  • Quartermaster pendant charm, $20

Councils must contact or call 972-580-2489 and request the pendant charm for the approved recipient. Make checks payable to the Boy Scouts of America and send payment to: Boy Scouts of America, 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. Mark envelope “personal and confidential.”