The Eagle Scout Rank Application Process

Since Arthur Eldred became the first Eagle Scout in 1912, the rank has represented a milestone of accomplishment—perhaps without equal—that is recognized across the country and even the world. Men who have earned the Eagle Scout rank count it among their most treasured possessions. “Eagle Scout” is not just an award; it is a state of being. Those who earned it as boys continue to earn it every day as men. That is why an Eagle Scout IS an Eagle Scout—not was.

Topics below, are intended to aid in reviewing and submitting the application and accompanying materials.

Prepare the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook

The most current workbook must be used. It can be found at here.

The workbook shows the project proposal was approved ahead of time, and then properly accepted by all parties when finished. Ideally, it will be a proud reminder of a significant accomplishment. See “Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook,"

Complete the Application

Complete the official Eagle Scout Rank Application. It can also be printed and completed by hand. Check that the following is filled out:

  1. Dates
  2. Signatures: Applicant, unit leader, and unit committee chair. Note that signatures need not be dated before the Scout’s 18th birthday.
  3. References: Must list all six (five if not employed). If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference. There are no restrictions on who the Scout may list for his two other references. He can list anyone he chooses, including parents or guardians not previously listed, other relatives, Scout leaders including those from his unit, or other Scouts and friends. There is no requirement that any of the references be 21 years of age or older.
  4. Merit badges and dates: Attach the Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, if applicable. Scouts are not required to attach blue cards with their application. If a discrepancy is discovered, the blue card may be requested to confirm the completion date.
  5. Position of responsibility: Must be one of those listed in Eagle Scout rank requirement 4, and must relate to the unit where the Scout was registered and active at the time service was rendered.
  6. Attachments: Service project workbook, statement of ambitions and life purpose, and listing of positions, honors, and awards.

Once a Scout has been advanced in rank, advancement errors subsequently discovered must not be held against him for any future advancement, even if the requirements were not properly completed.

Obtain Required Signatures

The unit leader and committee chair signatures represent approval for the candidate to move on to a board of review.

Submit to Council Service Center

A copy should be made of the application; service project workbook; the Scout’s statement of ambitions and life purpose; and listing of positions, honors, and awards. Once copies are in safekeeping, the originals should be delivered promptly to the council service center. The candidate should not be delayed. Timeliness is especially critical if he is approaching, or has already turned, 18.

Application Verification and Board of Review

Everything is checked against council records. If information in the BSA system or council files is incomplete, the Scout or the unit will be asked to provide certificates, blue cards, or other suitable proof that merit badges and ranks were earned and that dates are accurate.

References Contacted

Council advancement committee members secure recommendations from the references appearing on the Eagle Scout Rank Application. This may be done by letter, form, or phone call. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged. It is acceptable to send or deliver to the references an addressed envelope with instructions, and perhaps a form to complete. The Scout may assist with this, but that is the limit of his participation. He is not to be responsible for follow-through or any other aspect of the process.

The council collects the responses. If after a reasonably diligent effort no response can be obtained from any references, the board of review must go on without them. It must not be postponed or denied for this reason, and the Scout shall not be asked to submit additional references or to provide replacements.

Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them.

Application Returned to Council Service Center

If a board of review approves a candidate, the signed application, reference letters, and any information that might be considered confidential are returned to the local council. Unless otherwise directed, the service project workbook and statement of ambitions and life purpose can be returned to the Scout.

Council Sends Application to National Advancement Team

At the council the Scout executive signs the application, certifying proper procedures were followed. The application is then entered into the BSA system, filed locally, and then extracted from the BSA system by the National Advancement Program Team.

National Advancement Team Returns Credentials

The National Advancement Program Team validates all applications received. Then the National Distribution Center generates the credentials and prints, packages, and mails the certificate, pocket card, and congratulatory letter to the council.