Feb 19, 2012 - Julie Schmidt
Just trying to locate where anywhere says, when female leaders are supposed to wear uniforms.
Feb 20, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Julie - the official uniform should be worn to all troop meetings, formal events, and "all suitable occasions". You won't find a list of all instances where a uniform should be worn because such a list would be impossible to make.
It doesn't matter if the person is male or female.
Feb 21, 2012 - Scout mom, old-fashioned?
This is a great page to show the uniforn, but I can't help but wonder why a (role) model would be pictured with hands in pockets. I try to teach my sons that it shows poor manners to stand thus. It has to do with how one carries oneself, for instance if one is going to a job interview. I googled it and found it in Wikipedia's Dutch customs and ettiquette. Imagine that! I was raised in a Dutch household, so perhaps that is why this choice of photo struck me as odd on the boy scout website. Perhaps it was cold wherever the photo was taken. Am I the only parent who reminds my sons to "take your hands out of your pockets"? When servicemen and women have their full length photographs taken in uniform for their records, they must stand at attention in their uniform, no hands in pockets. I would love to see a young man in uniform here, proudly showing how to properly wear his attire, standing up straight and tall with hands at his sides. I believe that in speech and debate classes, students are taught about body language, standing straight, and exuding confidence, all great qualities for Boy Scouts to learn. If you're going to dress properly in your uniform, then you should stand properly in it too.
May 31, 2012 - Michele Anderson
My son earned the Religious knot in Cub Scouts. Will this remain on his uniform above the left pocket? I can't find any information on it any where. The troop leader isn't positive. If you have an idea please let me know. Otherwise I am leaving it on. Thank you.
May 31, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Michele - Yes, a religious emblem earned as a Cub Scout can be worn on a Boy Scout uniform. See the Religious Emblem award in the Awards area for more info.
Jul 12, 2012 - advancement lady
I need to know the difference between the "hook on pocket" patches and the temporary patches that are sewn onto the right pocket. I know World Conservation and NYLT can be worn on the right pocket ~ what about the National Outdoor patch. Where does that go?
Jul 12, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Adv Lady - medals and square knot emblems are displayed above the left shirt pocket. Pretty much all patches associated with awards and recognition (including Natl Outdoor Badges) are 'temporary' patches which means the scout can display 1 at a time centered on his right pocket. It doesn't matter if the patch is sewn on or hung from a plastic holder. Temporary patches may also be displayed on a red vest, campfire robe, blanket, special neckerchief, wall plaque, trophy hide, or on the back of the merit badge sash.
Jul 14, 2012 - Elizabeth Keegan
When is it appropriate to wear the merit badge sash, and should the kerchief be worn at the same time? If other badges are put on the other side of the sash, when is that side ever displayed?
Jul 14, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Elizabeth - the sash can be worn whenever the uniform is worn. But, it is typically worn to more formal events such as courts of honor or ceremonies.
The neckerchief is always worn as part of the uniform, if the troop has decided that a neckerchief is to be worn - that is one part of the uniform that each individual troop gets to decide on. Wearing a neckerchief or sash do not relate to each other at all.
If patches are sewn onto the back of the sash, that is the part that is visible on the scout's back - not the inside of the sash.
Aug 08, 2012 - Josie Becker
Am beginning to put mb's on son's sash. Where do the mb patches go??? Is there a specific point to begin placing them & how many go in each row? Also do you place them in random order or by color or theme or date earned???
Aug 08, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Josie - Merit badges are sewn on the sash in rows of 3 or 2, in any order, usually starting at the top front. When the front half is full, additional merit badges can be sewn on the back half of the sash.
If the scout wears a longsleeved uniform shirt, he can display up to 6 merit badges in 3 rows of 2 badges, just above the right cuff.
Aug 11, 2012 - colleen
I am a new committee member and dont know where to put my committee member badge on my Class A uniform. Right or left sleeve. Please advise.
Aug 11, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Colleen - If you read this page, you'll see there's a link to Male and Female Leader Uniform Inspection sheet. Just click that and get all the info you need.
Aug 29, 2012 - Jamie
I need to sew merit badges on my sons sash
I am not sure of the order to put them in. I've been told
to sew them 3 across and the silver close to the heart but
would feel better if I saw a picture.
Aug 30, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jamie - there's a picture on this page showing how badges can be sewn on. There is no required order - it's up to the scout.
Oct 07, 2012 - Curt
You stated with the Centennial Uniform the Troop Numbers went green. The picture below that statement, shows a Scouter with the Red numbers on his uniform. I have heard we are going back to the Red Numbers. If I am going to buy my son a new Scouting Uniform, what color numbers would you recommend?
Oct 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Curt - If he is in Cub Scouts or Venturing, get the white on red numerals. If he is in Boy Scouts, get the green on khaki numerals.
Oct 11, 2012 - Jennifer
Thank you so much for this wonderful page! I have a question, though - my son's troop has a patch that gives our town/state, the TROOP 344 underneath that, and then 90 years underneath that. It's all one patch. Can you tell me where you think this should go? I think I remember seeing it on the front left pocket of one of the other scouts' uniforms, but am not sure now. Thank you! :)
Oct 11, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jennifer - That sounds like a custom unit numeral patch and should go on the left sleeve where unit numerals normally go. But, maybe your son could ask his Sr. Patrol Leader or Scoutmaster to find out for sure.
Oct 13, 2012 - Michelle Kitchens
My son completed NYLT this summer. He made a big deal about completing the requirements to get the pin. He received the pin with no information for where to place it on his uniform, or if he can even wear it on his uniform. Our troop is new and he is the first to get the pin.
Oct 14, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Michelle - Congratulations to your son. NYLT offers a patch which is a temporary patch. As such, it can be worn centered on the right pocket. One temporary patch at a time is supposed to be worn there.
As far as I know, the NYLT pin is something specific to your council and the pin is pinned to the NYLT patch. See samoset.org/training/documents/NYLTPinLetterandApp2012.pdf
Nov 07, 2012 - heather
My son has just made first class. I see some boys wear their New Scout and Tenderfoot badges on the back side of their merit badge sash. Is this correct? Or is there other suggestions of what to do with these rank badges?
Nov 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Heather - Old rank badges do NOT go on the merit badge sash. This is specifically stated in the BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia.
They can be shown off on a patch vest, hide, or blanket. Or, just kept in a box.
Nov 20, 2012 - Georgiana Van Syckle
I bought my son the light weight zip off pants that include a belt on the inside of the waist. Now the Jambo scoutmaster says that if there are belt loops, you have to wear an additional belt on top. This doesn't seem logical to me. Please comment.
Nov 20, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Georgiana - Doesn't seem logical to me either, but, if your council has defined and published what their jamboree uniform requires, that's what the scouts need to wear. For example, piedmontbsa.org/jamboree2013/uniform.php says a khaki or leather belt and that is what the 2010 Staff definition stated, too.
If there is a published definition of your council's jamboree uniform, I'd ask to see it.
Dec 27, 2012 - Meg
My son's troop is confused regarding sash wearing. They were recently photographed with half the boys wearing their sash on the left shoulder and the other half on the right shoulder. Which is correct?
Dec 30, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Meg - the merit badge sash goes over the RIGHT shoulder. This allows the rank patch on the left pocket to be visible.
Jan 24, 2013 - Karen Carroll
Through years of Cub Scouting leadership and having two older sons in Boy Scouts, I always understood that the World Brotherhood patch was not a required patch. The shirts in the past came with it sewed on, I believe, but no longer. I told my Cub Scouts they did not have to purchase the patch, but my Boy Scout son was chastised at a Board of Review because he did not have the patch. Is it a mandatory part of the uniform?
Jan 25, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Karen - Not that patch, nor any other patch, is 'mandatory'. The uniform itself is not mandatory.
But, why would someone NOT wear it? It is the only patch that goes in that position and it shows the wearer to be a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. It's kind of like choosing to not wear your council patch or unit numerals.
Jan 26, 2013 - Heather Wilbur
This is my sons first year in scouts he is a tiger cub he is hearing impaired and earned his badge for sign language he signed the pledge alliance before a basketball game (proud mom) can you tell me the correct placement of this badge?
Jan 26, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Heather - If it is a tan Interpreter Strip, then it is displayed centered above the "Boy Scouts of America" strip on his uniform. If it is just a sign language generic emblem, then it is a temporary patch and displayed centered on the right pocket.
Jan 31, 2013 - Sean
I am new to an area and involved in Scouting. We have a lot of new boys in the troop who are underprivileged. We are going to be having fundraisers to "earn" the uniform, however I would like to save money where I can. Is there a place I can get used uniforms at a good price that you would recommend? I really need 10 complete uniforms and would like to get Class B shirts as well for other activities. Ideas, thoughts, suggestions?
Jan 31, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Sean - I've gotten BSA pants of eBay.com for very good prices. The shirts seem to be too worn out, though you might have better luck. GoodWill or other used clothes stores sometimes have uniform parts.
Many districts or councils have uniform exchanges - you should ask yours.
ClassB.com is a great source for activity shirts for reasonable prices. You can design your own or use a stock design.
Feb 09, 2013 - Jeanne
I am getting ready to sew my son's merit badges on his sash, this is probably a silly question but is the pointed end of the sash on the bottom, that is what I'm assuming. Thanks for your time
Feb 09, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Jeanne - Yes, the pointed end should be down by his left hip and the sash drapes over his right shoulder.
Feb 10, 2013 - Matt Pieper
Sean if you happen to have a Ragstock store near you they have uniforms from time to time. Our pack has found rather inexpensive uniforms there. We purchased Cub Scout Uniforms for $12 there.
Feb 11, 2013 - Dana Henry
I would appreciate advice on the correct wearing of the "God and Church" award my son received. What a great service this is!
Mar 03, 2013 - Jon
My son just crossed over from Webelos to a Troop and the number of digits in the unit number went from 4 to 3, so when I installed the new unit number I'm left with a dark sticky residue on each side of the new numbers from the patch magic adhesive. Any clues how to remove it? Short of buying new shirts, should we just not worry about it? One might say it is tacky in more ways than one. Thanks ;>)
Mar 03, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Jon - Going right to the source is usually the best way to find an answer. On the Badge Magic website, they have a FAQ page that says to use Goo Gone or Goof Off.
Mar 04, 2013 - Belinda
My son just bridged and earned the arrow of light and the super achiever. I know where the arrow of light patch goes, but are any of the other awards, pins or previous cub scout patches transferrred to the new uniform? He has his belt loops displayed, I am just not sure if some of these transfer please advise.
Mar 04, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Belinda - It's a brand new day in Boy Scout land! The Arrow of Light and Religious Emblem are the two common Cub Scout patches that can go on the Boy Scout uniform. The Merit, Heroism, and Honor Medal knots can also be earned by youth and worn from then forward. Pins, belt loops, activity badges, and all that were for Cubs and he starts fresh in Boy Scouts.
Mar 07, 2013 - Rick
Exactly what are the minimum requirements for a boy scout uniform? I thought they were neckercheif, shirt, belt, and socks. I was told yesterday that a hat is a required part of the uniform when performing flag ceremonies outdoors, which our scouts will be doing at a college baseball game for their scout recognition day, as well as the sash, if the scout has one. I knew about the sash, but the hat?
Mar 07, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Rick - A uniform is not required to be in Boy Scouts.
The complete Boy Scout uniform is: headgear, neckerchief, shirt, pants, belt, socks.
Headgear is determined by troop. Neckerchief is determined by troop.
A sash is not part of the uniform. It is worn on special occasions.
See uniform inspection sheet
It would make sense for the scout to wear headgear for an outdoor ceremony. I would not recommend wearing the merit badge sash, and definitely not the OA sash unless they are representing the OA.
Mar 12, 2013 - JB
On a related hat question: Is the only official hat to be worn with the uniform the ones sold by the BSA? The troop I lead would like to wear boonie hats in the summer for the added sun protection (as would their moms).
Mar 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
JB - The troop decides what headgear to be worn as part of the uniform. The same is true for the neckerchief. It doesn't need to be sold by the BSA.
Apr 05, 2013 - New Eagle
so i have just recently passed my board of review for the rank of eagle scout and am preparing for my court of honor. i am over the age of 18 now and therefore i am no longer a member of a patrol. my question is regarding the patrol patch. are there specific regulations as to what can and cant be worn for one's patrol patch? i was kind of interested in replacing mine with a custom patrol patch with a family symbol on it or something like that. i have several cousins who are also eagle scouts and we thought it might be cool. thanks in advance!
Apr 05, 2013 - :Eaglewolfdad
Well done on your achievement! Now that you are moving into the adult leadership ranks, the patrol patch is not part of the adult uniform and should not be worn
Apr 23, 2013 - Tracy Doane
I have a question regarding the class a uniform. Does my son have to have the green pants or can he wear jeans and still have it considered class a?
Apr 23, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Tracy - You can see the complete uniform items above, and in the Uniform Inspection Sheet. BSA pants ARE an integral part of the uniform.
There is no 'Class A' or 'Class B' uniform defined in the BSA.
May 03, 2013 - eaglemom
Some older boys in our troop tend to be very lax on wearing a correct/full uniform to meetings and outings. Would it make sense to have a "minimum" standard for all to follow, such as the BSA shirt, blue/dark jeans (with no holes) and a BSA belt? Non BSA hats are a particular issue. Boys will rarely remove these hats when confronted. How can we improve?
May 06, 2013 - Steve
Different troops have different standards. The Scoutmaster or Troop Committee has the job of deciding on reasonable standards.
No other organization will allow youth to wear half a uniform (think of a baseball or soccer team - do they wear jeans??). My troop requires full uniform - not even white socks are allowed. A well-uniformed troop stands out at summer camp and camporees.
May 06, 2013 - Scouter Paul
eaglemom - No, I don't think it makes sense to do that. A uniform is not required to be in Boy Scouts. The standard is "the uniform" as defined in the Uniform Inspection Sheet. Scouts should strive to wear the complete uniform.
When the adult volunteers wear the uniform, that helps.
If a scout does not want to wear the uniform, I wouldn't let that worry me at all. But, I would most certainly recognize those scouts that ARE wearing the most complete uniform. I might give them some small reward for promoting that method of scouting which seems to be lax in this particular troop.
Regarding the hats - it is common courtesy to remove hats indoors. I would expect that of anyone, not just a scout. Outdoors, I wouldn't be concerned unless the hat represented something inappropriate, such as a beer brand.
May 07, 2013 - David
We have a Scout that went through NYLT. During NYLT he was given epaulettes that were red/white/blue. Is there an official red/white/blue epaulette? If so, are there rules for when certain uniform epaulettes should be worn? Thanks.
May 07, 2013 - Scouter Paul
David - The 'epaulette' is the piece of fabric sewn to the shirt. The colored part that slides on it is a 'shoulder loop' or 'tab'.
In the current BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia, on page 14, it lists the official shoulder loop colors - blue, forest green, blaze (orange), green, silver, gold.
It also states: "Custom loops are not authorized for wear with the BSA uniform."
Those red-white-blue shoulder loops ppear to be a keepsake but not to be worn on the uniform. But, the BSA has created temporary shoulder loops in the past, for national and world jamborees, for example. They were to only be worn for 6 months just before, during, and after participation in the jamboree. So, maybe NYLT has permission to do the same thing, but I've not heard that.
May 18, 2013 - Donald McAndrew
Reguarding Leader Knots..Can you use your Tenure for one Knot to be used for another Knot? Say you are a Scout Leader as a Cub Master for 3 yrs. and earn the Cub Master Knot can you user the same 3 yrs. towards Cub Master Key Award or Den Leader Award? Do you earn one Award and then start your Tenure over to start on another Knot?
May 27, 2013 - Jennie Nisbet
When does a scout stop wearing the merit badge sash? As soon as he turns 18? After his Eagle COH? Also, to clarify something I read above... If a scout is wearing the OA sash, is it OK to wear the MB sash off the belt?
Jun 07, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Jennie - No sash should be hung off the belt. That is a common 'NoNo' that continues to be perpetuated for some reason. Either the OA sash OR the merit badge sash is worn, not both. The OA sash is worn when representing the OA.
The merit badge sash is part of the Youth uniform so it should not be worn by adults - that is someone over 18 and not registered in a Venturing Crew. But, I don't think a scout would catch any grief for wearing it to his Eagle COH if that is held after is 18th birthday.
Jun 12, 2013 - Jim E.
My son has olive green shorts the same color and style as "official" Scout shorts. Are these permissible to still be considered within regulations?
Jun 12, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Jim - No, they are not BSA pants so they are not part of the uniform.
Jun 14, 2013 - Leesa Gabel
My son completed NYLT and received a NYLT-Trained patch. It's similar in size to the Trained patch. Can the NYLT-Trained patch be placed in the same spot as the Trained -- which I assume to be under his patrol responsibility patch?
Jun 14, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Leesa - Scouts are to wear the "Trained" patch specifically for their current position of responsibility and only after they've completed their troop's leadership training for that position. That's what the insignia guide says.
I believe an NYLT-Trained patch is not for a specific youth position of responsibility, so should not be worn there. It is possible that your son's scoutmaster had him complete NYLT specifically for training for a particular troop position and plans to count NYLT as your son's position training also. Your son should ask the scoutmaster.
Your son could certainly contact the NYLT staff and find out what they have to say about it, too.
Jun 15, 2013 - Michael Ginther
It's been about ten years since I earned my Eagle Scout and recently I was at an In 'n Out and saw a troop which disgracefully represented the Boy Scouts of America. The entire unit from the leader to the Boy Scouts were inappropriately dressed. The Female leader had her uniform blouse untucked and completely unbuttoned, which was the same for each troop member. One Boy Scout wore his neckerchief around his neck instead of properly around the uniform collar. Not one Boy Scout or leader wore the Olive Green BSA pants or shorts.
What are the official uniform regulations? I may be biased as I am a 1stLt in the USMC. What are the current procedures for training the Troop Scout Masters? This was in Bakersfield California and Troop 7. If anyone in the BSA is able to push down better guidance to this troop, they are disrespecting both the BSA but also all the Boy Scouts who have come before them.
Jun 15, 2013 - Steve W.
You're not alone. I'm a Major in the USAF, and I feel the same way. In fact,I sent a strongly worded letter to a local Cub Scout Pack a while back. Two Cub Scouts were selling popcorn at a Lowe's. They were wearing only an untucked shirt with their Bobcat and Wolf badges STAPLED on! I had enough and let the Pack leadership know how I felt about it. I can't blame the boys, it's the leadership. The uniform is what the public sees.
My son will join Tiger Scouts this Fall and I will be his Den Leader. I intend to lead by example. I will wear an impeccable uniform, as will my son. By setting a good example, I will ensure a positive public image of my Den. Hopefully, it will catch on. You don't see Little League players in swim trunks nor do you see cops in ratty jeans.
Perhaps you can volunteer your time in a local Pack/Troop. They could use your expertise!
Jun 16, 2013 - tim
Be careful in your letter writing. I had a boy in my Pack whose parents "were not available" and he stapled all of his ranks and earned patches on his uniform and wore them with great pride. He is now a great Boy Scout and I could not be happier. But, please do set an example. It does work.
Jun 16, 2013 - Steve W.
The boys' Dads were the ones collecting the money. They were right there.
Jun 16, 2013 - L. Brown Harkus
My boys are just joing the B.S.A. & I'm a little surprised/disappointed at the relaxed standards I've seen in our local troop. Uniforms aren't required at meetings. Even on outings, no one has a complete uniform on. And at the last meeting, the leader was going down the requirements for Scout and Tenderfoot and was making up answers! He didn't know the specific parts/meanings of the emblem, what to do for various bites, injuries, etc. Is there not a list somewhere of "correct" things to teach these boys?
Jun 16, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@L. Brown - Generally, YES, the "list" of correct things is the Scout Handbook. Pretty much all the advancement requirement skills and knowledge through First Class can be learned from the handbook. Scouts are supposed to use the handbook as a learning resource.
All Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters are also supposed to attend Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills training where all the outdoors skills through First Class are supposed to be presented and learned.
Regarding your uniform comments, owning a uniform is not a requirement of joining or participating in the Boy Scouts of America. Some specific units require a uniform and some specific events (such as Jamboree) require a uniform. If a scout owns a uniform, it should be worn correctly and as completely as possible.
Having caring adult volunteers wear the uniform correctly and help the scouts wear theirs correctly is the best way I know of to establish proper uniform wear in a unit.