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Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award

The Quartermaster Award, which stands for excellence, goes to the young adult who attains the highest rank in Sea Scouting. The award is a reminder that as a ship needs a rudder, a compass, and a moving force to reach its destination, so an individual must be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight to achieve worthwhile goals in life. It represents fulfillment. It results from a young adult's determination to reach goals that he or she has set and achieved in spite of difficulties along the way.

The award is rich in symbolism. The blue ribbon stands for loyalty and country. The compass suggests the importance of carefully chosen direction in life. The wheel reminds us that we are the guide of our own future and that we must persevere with self-discipline. The Scout badge, the emblem of purposeful brotherhood, has challenged and strengthened the lives of more than 40 million men. It shows Sea Scouting as an important part of the Scouting tradition. The anchor reminds us that a truly worthy life must be anchored in duty to God.

This badge of color, beauty, and symbolism, but most of all, challenge, awaits every Venturer who has the determination to achieve excellence.


  1. Ideals. Must lead a discussion on "participating citizenship" and submit a paper on the "World Brotherhood of Scouting."
  2. Membership. Attend at least 75 percent of ship meetings and activities for 18 months. Present a talk on Sea Scouting and complete a service project.
  3. Special Skills. Complete the 11 special skills required for Quartermaster, which include:
    1. Boats
    2. Marlinspike Seamanship
    3. Ground Tackle
    4. Piloting
    5. Signaling
    6. Swimming
    7. Cruising
    8. Safety
    9. First Aid
    10. Rules of the Road
    11. Weather
  4. Electives. Complete four of the following electives: sailing, engine, radio, boat maintenance, electricity, navigation, drill, piloting, rigging, yacht racing crew.


Give the application for rank advancement to your Skipper, who will present it to the officers at their monthly meeting. As they review your application, they are primarily concerned with your understanding of the ideals of Sea Scouting as demonstrated by your participation in ship activities. Ordinarily, you will not attend this meeting.

At the quarterdeck meeting, the officers either approve or decline your application. An application for the Quartermaster Award must also be approved by the ship committee and the district or council advancement committee. Following this, the Quartermaster application is forwarded to the National Council.

If your application is not approved, the Skipper returns it to you with an explanation. He or she will help you make corrections so that you can submit it again.

Bridge of Honor

As soon as possible after an application has been reviewed and approved, it should be forwarded through the proper channels. The badge is secured and then presented at an impressive ceremony soon after it has been earned.

The bridge of honor is the ideal occasion for presenting awards. Traditionally, the bridge of honor is held in connection with a social affair. Although this is a good idea, it need not always be done this way.

It is important that each Sea Scout get his or her award as soon as possible. Sometimes there is an unavoidable delay between the date of approval and the bridge of honor. If this happens, the award may be presented informally at a ship meeting and then presented again formally at your next bridge of honor.


The Quartermaster Award medal, No. 04148, is available only through the Venturing Division. Councils (only) may order these pieces from the BSA National Distribution Center:

  • Embroidered emblem, No. 04100
  • Square knot, No. 05009

Coast Guard Recognition

Sea Scouts who earn the Quartermaster award can also receive a recognition certificate from the United States Coast Guard.

To obtain a certificate, the Sea Scout Ship Skipper or Committee Chairperson should send a request, including the recipeint's name; date of the award; Ship number and name; and the name, address, and telephone number of a contact person to:

F.A. Welch
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
2100 Second St., S.W. Room 2216
Washington, DC 20593

This certificate should be presented along with the award at the recipient's Bridge of Honor - be sure to send your requrest at least six weeks in advance to ensure that the certificate will have arrived on time.