Recognizing Unit Service Can’t Start Too Soon

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We often think of providing recognition to commissioners for work done over a period of time. In fact, we can’t start too soon to recognize the commitment and effort of Scouters who understand the impact unit service can have in enabling units to better serve more youth through Scouting. Our revised recognitions for unit service are designed to reinforce that.

Badge of Office

It’s a simple thing, but the badge of office worn by a commissioner is an opportunity to provide timely recognition to a Scouter who has committed to help serve units. It can have impact when given in private and be even more powerful when presented publicly. In either case, it’s an opportunity to express appreciation and remind everyone present why the commitment to serve is important and the potential that commitment offers.

The requirements for a unit service badge of office aren’t complicated:

  • A volunteer application of a unit service position has been submitted and approved.
  • A background check has been successfully completed.
  • The Scouter holds a current certificate for Youth Protection training.

While not a requirement, it is assumed that all commissioners will complete position-specific basic training as soon as possible.


Just as commissioners and professionals share a unique design element of their badges of office—the “wreath of service”—they also are the only individuals who are commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America. As a result, commissioning is another opportunity early on to recognize and celebrate a Scouter’s commitment to serve as a commissioner and to help units better serve more youth through Scouting.

The requirements for commissioning are simple:

  • The Scouter has been duly appointed to serve as a commissioner (the requirements to receive and wear a commissioner’s badge of office have been met).
  • The Scouter has completed position-specific training.
  • The Scouter has received an orientation (describing responsibilities, what success will look like, what key first steps are to be taken in this new role, etc.).
  • The commission is for one year and must be renewed annually.

Commissioning ceremonies are a great opportunity to recognize the commitments of individuals as well as the commitment of an entire team to unit service. They can be a powerful reminder of the importance of unit service and the impact it can have upon the youth we serve through Scouting.