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Honor Guard patch

this started out as a Scoutbook question but has morphed into a uniform question. I had a unit leader asking why Honor Guard did not show up as a leadership position i explained that it and Musician were viewed differently and that was signified by the patches belonging on the right sleeve rather than the left. They told me that was not what it said at the Scoutshop site. Sure enough the Honor Guard patch says left sleeve at the site though musician shows right i double checked with the insignia guide and the Bryan on scouting article when the patch was released. I posted a question on the scoutshop site and got this answer Question:

the description is wrong according to insignia guide this is worn on right sleeve

By: Ron, Clearlake Oaks | Sep 15, 2021


Hi Ron! Thank you for reaching out. This is a typo in the insignia on page 39. Page 25 shows the correct placement on the left sleeve.

By: Web Team, | Sep 27, 2021

That’s a heck of a typo:

Honor Guard, cloth, No. 621029; Scout, right sleeve, position 3 or below and touching Journey to Excellence Unit Award. Worn only by members of honor guards.

Reference: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066/33066_Scouts_BSA_Insignia_WEB.pdf, page 44.

The explanation for the Musician patch is even more comprehensive and occurs in multiple locations:

Musician, cloth, No. 449; Scout, right sleeve, position 3 or below and touching Journey to Excellence Unit Award. Worn only by members of troop bands or drum corps. See ‘‘Drum and Bugle Corps Uniforms,’’ page 10

The musician badge is the only special insignia that may be worn by the members of these organizations. It is worn on the right sleeve, centered just below (1 ⁄2 inch) the patrol medallion. See the “Scouts BSA Insignia” section.

Reference: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066/33066_Scouts_BSA_Insignia_WEB.pdf, page 44 and https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066/33066_Special_Regulations.pdf, page 10, respectively,

I am inclined based on the balance of the information to believe that either whomever responded to you is misinformed or the BSA is in the process of significantly revising the Guide to Awards and Insignia and hasn’t bothered to say anything about it yet.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Supply Group has misunderstood the program and insignia groups (see Lodge Chief patch).


Let’s be clear that patch placement does not determine which positions of responsibility qualify for advancement. Don’t let the tail wag the dog.
The point of the patch placement is for a scout to identify two PoRs on the same shirt.


Except, my impression is that Honor Guard and Musician are not really PoRs, nor do they count towards advancement as they are not really leadership roles. They’re more like (cross unit) patrols.

I concur.

Honor Guard

When the flag is carried, there should be a honor guard on each side of it.

  • Boy Scout Handbook, 1964 printing, p. 79

Historical note:

“Boy Scouts and the Army have been the only two uniformed honor guards at every inauguration since 1913,” says P-B, a Washington, D.C.-based Scout historian who goes by that two-letter name.


Honor Guard does not count for advancement purposes.

As is the case with the Musician patch/role, serving in the Honor Guard doesn’t count as a position of responsibility needed for advancement.

Scouts BSA Musician

The description (details) on the new Scout Shop site is incomplete:

The Musician Emblem is worn by the members of troop bands or drum corps. It is worn on the right sleeve of the official uniform.

The description at the Capital Area Council scout shop is:

Khaki emblem for a youth serving as a Musician in a Scouts BSA Troop. A troop Musician is a member of a unit or council band, drill team, or drum and bugle corps. Worn on the right sleeve under the patrol emblem and/or Journey to Excellence unit award.

Let’s not argue semantics without a distinction “Role” and “Position of Responsibility” in the scouterverse are used interchangeably. Do a search of “role of patrol leader” to find many references including one or two that are BSA publications. Moreover, as has been discussed elsewhere, APL does not count for rank advancement and is a “left sleeve” PoR.
The critical point, may I repeat, is don’t let uniforming confound your understanding of advancement. Patch placement does not determine what is or is not required for Star, Life, or Eagle.


Honor Guard does not count for advancement purpose

@Qwazse - I am assuming your remarks are not directed to me.

I concur. I added the extract from the Honor Guard patch article because you mentioned advancement. I believe any discussion of advancement can be concluded. Here is the article extract:

Honor Guard does not count for advancement purposes.

As is the case with the Musician patch/role, serving in the Honor Guard doesn’t count as a position of responsibility needed for advancement.

APL - within the last 3 years, I have done 5-6 Eagle BORs where an Eagle candidate was APL while a Life Scout, and this was was approved by the council during verification.

And it’s listed online, at least here: https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Eagle_Rank_Requirements_2018.pdf

(Longhorn Council. For 2+ years, I was the district Eagle board coordinator.)

[EDIT - I was thinking this was about assistant senior patrol leaders, not assistant patrol leaders. Been a long Friday.]

We’re wandering pretty far afield here, but:

Assistant Patrol Leader is not on this list. Assistant Senior Patrol Leader is.

Reference: https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Eagle_Rank_Requirements_2018.pdf

ETA: Same information in the latest version here: https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/3321621-08-Eagle.pdf

Well the Council does not Verify POR in the system - that is the Units job to check it off and as a Longhorn Scoutmaster that does surprise me but it also shows the number of Scouters to do not know the requirements.

The council verification process is supposed to verify each element of the application - I can affirm that Longhorn did challenge scouts who inavertently left off the leadership role in the application. Someone did eyeball that entry, during the period when I was coordinating Eagle Boards for Lakeview and Pathfinder (Nov 2018-March 2021). Our district policy was that once Council signed off on it, it was not our place to challenge it. I do know that Mustang started doing their own application verification (in lieu of the council) so perhaps they had different standards, then.

@KevinGee well Council would have no way of validating POR other than by Unit affirming it (Leader sig on application) - as opposed to checking Merit badges in National Database - or the 6 months between ranks - that is all I was saying on that aspect

Good catch. I had misread the original question - I was replying to the idea that the assistant senior patrol leader wasn’t valid. I don’t know that I’ve ever ran into a troop anywhere that used actual assistant patrol leaders.

Carry on.

Yes, Council only verifies that the scout has sef-reported to have served in a capacity.

As it is - If a scout who only served in an “unapproved” leadership position submitted an application, and the troop signed off on the application, the Council approve it and my districts would have followed suit.

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