By Nicole Balmforth
Nov 05, 2018

Exemplary Eagle Scouts and Their Stories Part 2

As an organization that is proud of its members, we like to reflect on the exemplary Scouts we’ve had the opportunity to shape. These Scouts worked hard to become Eagle Scouts and have continued to work hard throughout their life. They represent perfectly the core values of the BSA. Here’s part 2 of our Exemplary Eagle Scout series. 

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr.

You may have heard of Gerald Ford Jr. before because he is the first ever Eagle Scout to become the president of the United States. Ford took over the presidency after President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 due to the Watergate scandal. He accomplished restoring dignity to the office while it was implicated in the scandal. Ford worked in many other government fascets. He was elected to Congress in Michigan’s 5th Congressional District and served as vice president for 10 months.

As a young man, Gerald joined a Boy Scout troop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Three years in the troop was all it took for Gerald to advance to the Eagle Scout rank. Boy Scouts have served in the governor’s honor guard during every summer since 1929. Ford participated that first year. Gerald also played football when he was younger and excelled as an athlete. 

William Henry Gates Sr.

Father of Bill Gates Jr., William Gates Sr., is known for the many hats he wears. He’s a philanthropist, lawyer, and author. He also enlisted in the U.S. Army service during World War II to help fight and defend our nation. To continue his service to our country, William founded the Preston Gates Ellis firm. There he practiced upholding the law and defending others in courtrooms. He worked at the firm until 1998. His retirement led to more worthwhile work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation works to reduce inequality in our society. 

Both William and his son Bill Gates were Scouts. Gates was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout award about 25 years after earning his Eagle Scout rank. The award was given to William because of his civic and business successes.

Stephen Gerald Breyer

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speaks during the National Days of Remembrance commemoration. Photo by Bill Clark/Roll Call

Stephen Breyer, a distinguished Eagle Scout, has been serving on the Supreme Court for over two decades. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. The court tends to strike down or uphold laws based upon their interpretation of the constitution. In August of 1994, Breyer took his oath to the Supreme Court. Breyer is known for being liberal and pragmatic in his court decisions. Earlier in his career, he began working in the government as a clerk for the Associate Supreme Court Justice, Arthur Goldberg, showing his duty to country. He went on to work for our government at the Justice Department and later was named to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

Breyer was a member of Troop 14 in San Francisco. He enjoyed the simple acts such as helping clean up the campsites and doing service projects. These projects were all important life lessons to Breyer as he practiced the Scout values whilst doing good. Both Breyer and his brother attained the rank of Eagle Scout while in Scouting. 

Share your exemplary Eagle Scout stories in the comments below!

Read more from the Exemplary Eagle Scout Stories Series:

Author: Nicole Balmforth | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council

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