By Boy Scouts of America
Dec 05, 2013

What is the Distinguished Eagle Award?


NavySince its establishment in 1969, the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) has gained prominent standing among Scouting recognitions. Previous recipients include President Gerald R. Ford, several governors and senators, military flag officers, university presidents, chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, and nationally known lawyers, educators, and doctors. Each of the recipients had risen to a state of fame or eminence in his chosen life work before receiving the DESA.

The DESA is presented and administered by the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA). It is NESA’s highest honor.

The selection of recipients is made by the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award Committee, comprising members who are also DESA recipients. Not all nominations acted upon by the award committee are approved. A substantial percentage of nominations are declined.

The requirements for consideration are:

Requirement 1. The nominee must have earned the Eagle Scout rank through the Boy Scouts of America at least 25 years prior to submission of this nomination. If the national Eagle Scout database does not list the nominee as an Eagle Scout, the local council is obligated to provide proof acceptable to the Program Impact Department that the nominee did in fact receive the award.

Requirement 2. The nomination must state the specific reasons or how the nominee has received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or eminence within the identified field.

Requirement 3. Through the years, it has been established that a nominee should also have a strong record of voluntary service to his community. This is in addition to his achievement of a distinguished career, not in place of one. Service to Scouting is not required.

Click here too see list of recipients.


See National Eagle Scout Association, “Distinguished Eagle Scout Award History.”

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