The Eagle Scout

February 10, 2004

The Eagle Scout represents the very best in Scouting.  He stands for truth, knowledge and strength of character.  He understands his role in the community and nation, and has a deep respect for both.

The Eagle Rank he wears is an outward symbol of what a young man has accomplished as well as what can be expected from the young, and will be when he reaches full manhood.  The Eagle Scout is a leader and he is highly regarded and respected by his peers and by adults alike.

The Eagle Scout Rank is the highest award available to youth members of the Boy Scouts of America.  It is a recognition bestowed upon a young man by the National Court of Honor, and presented through his local council and a local court of honor.  It represents many years of dedicated effort, and the successful completion of a long process that started when the young man first became a Boy Scout.

The Eagle Scout Rank is earned by very few Scouts; less than 4% to be exact, and thus it is a great achievement, not just for the Scout, but for all who were involved in the young mans advancement: the Scout, his family, his community, his unit, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Many Eagle Scouts have gone on to achieve great things.  Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States is an Eagle Scout, as were 17 of our United States Senators, over 60 of our Congressmen, 11 of our state Governors 14 of our most senior military officers, and over 1,700 chief executive officers, presidents, and heads of corporations are all Eagle Scouts (in one recent survey, date unknown).  The list goes on.  Of the 214 former and present astronauts:

Awarding the Eagle rank is an important and very serious matter.  For most of you the journey began around age 10 and will require years of hard work to achieve.  It is the climax of ones Scouting experience and goal toward which a Scout should strive.  I encourage each of you to seek the Eagle Rank.

Good night, gentlemen.