Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
| Eagle Scout Square Knot|
with DESA Device
| DESA Medallion|
with Neck Ribbon
The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) is an award of the Boy Scouts of America. It is awarded to an Eagle Scout for distinguished service in his profession and to the community for a period of at least twenty-five years after earning Eagle Scout. Requirements include: having attained the Eagle Scout rank, accomplishment of significance in one's career, and a solid record of continued community volunteer involvement. As of the end of 2005, 1,835,410 Scouts had earned the rank of Eagle. Since its introduction in 1969, the DESA has been awarded to just under 2000 Eagle Scouts. Only about 1 in 1,000 of all Eagle Scouts have been presented this prestigious award.
First introduced in 1969 and awarded by the National Eagle Scout Association, the award consists of a gold eagle medallion, identical to the silver medallion on the Eagle Scout medal, but is suspended from a red, white, and blue neck ribbon as opposed to the scroll pin and ribbon suspension on the regular medal. The Distinguished Eagle Scout medal is worn in place of the regular Eagle Scout medal for Eagle Scout-related ceremonies. The recipient is also presented with a 3-dimensionally engraved bronze plaque. A small gold eagle device or pin may be worn on the recipient's Eagle Scout square knot emblem that is worn in place of the medal for everyday wear. The award entitles the recipient to be called a "Distinguished Eagle Scout", along with automatic admission into the National Eagle Scout Association Board of Regents.
Notable honorees include motion picture director Steven Spielberg, astronaut Neil Armstrong, former president Gerald Ford, Nobel Prize winners Peter Agre and Dudley Herschbach, businessmen Sam Walton and Ross Perot, Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, actor Ozzie Nelson, financier John C. Whitehead, and Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others. Prior to the establishment of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, the first and only "gold Eagle Scout badge" was awarded to Dan Beard at the Second National Training Conference of Scout Executives held in 1922 in Blue Ridge, North Carolina.
- NESA.org - Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
- List of Distinguished Eagle Scouts
- List of Famous Eagle Scouts with short bio
- Rowan, Edward L (2005). To Do My Best: James E. West and the History of the Boy Scouts of America. Las Vegas International Scouting Museum. ISBN 0-9746479-1-8.