The Boy Scouts of America classifies its members into ranks based on age and experience. As boys perform tasks and develop their skills, badges and patches are awarded to them. Patches and merit badges have specific places on the Scout's uniform where they may be placed, such as on shirt sleeves or the badge sash.
Patches on the Right Sleeve
The United States flag is sewn directly beneath the shoulder seam on the right sleeve of all Boy Scouts. All Scouts may also sew the most recent Centennial Quality Unit Award, if one is earned, at the bottom of this sleeve. For Tiger, Wolf and Bear Cubs, the den number patch is sewn beneath the U.S. flag. For older Scouts, a patrol emblem or National Honor Patrol star may be worn between the flag and the Centennial Quality Unit Award. If a musician badge is earned, it is sewn one-half inch beneath the patrol emblem.
Patches on the Left Sleeve
For the three groups of Cub Scouts, the boy's council shoulder emblem is sewn at the top of the left shoulder seam. If that Scout unit has issued a veteran unit insignia bar, it is placed directly underneath the council emblem, touching it. The pack number is sewn beneath this patch, also touching it. For older Scouts, these three patches are placed in the same way. The badge of office is sewn under the unit number, approximately four inches beneath the shoulder seam. The Trained Leader emblem is sewn underneath the badge of office.
Patches on the Right Pocket
Younger Scouts can wear temporary insignia patches on the right pocket, if desired. Pins, such as the National Summertime Award and the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award, are pinned here. Older Scouts place their BSA and language interpreter patches on this pocket. The Jamboree insignia is sewn above the BSA and interpreter strips. On the pocket flap, the Order of the Arrow lodge insignia is sewn. Temporary insignia may be sewn on the centre of the pocket. The Venture or Varsity strip is placed about the BSA strip. If a nameplate is to be worn, it is sewn above the Venture or Varsity strip.
Patches on the Left Pocket
For young Scouts, rank badges, such as Bobcat, Bear, Wolf and Tiger Cub, are placed on the left pocket. If any Gold Arrow Points are earned, they are placed under the pocket, as well as underneath the corresponding badge. The World Crest is sewn between the tip of the left pocket and the left shoulder seam. As with the younger Scouts, older Scouts place the World Crest in the same position. If any badges of rank have been earned, they are sewn centred on the pocket. The Arrow of Light award is sewn beneath these patches.
Patches on the Sash
Only older Scouts wear a merit badge sash. These earned badges, such as Signaling, Carpentry, Electronics and Cooking, are sewn to the front and back of the sash. This is also where temporary insignia may be sewn. The Scout's Varsity or Venture letter is placed at the bottom front corner of the sash.
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