National awards for lifesaving and meritorious action are made only for outstanding and unusual acts that demonstrate unusual heroism, skill, or bravery and reflect Scouting ideals, based on the following criteria:
- Honor Medal With Crossed Palms. Has demonstrated unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save life at extreme risk to self.
- Honor Medal. Has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save life at considerable risk to self.
- Medal of Merit. Has performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
- National Certificate of Merit. Has performed a significant act of service that is deserving of special national recognition. Note: If the action is deserving of merit but does not qualify for a national award, the Scout may be eligible for the Local Council Certificate of Merit, No. 33732.
“Heroism” is defined as conduct exhibiting courage, daring, skill, and self-sacrifice.
“Skill” is defined as the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively in execution or performance. Special attention is given to skills earned in Scouting.