return to: BSA Badge History Commissioner Badges

History

Commissioners have always been an important part of scouting.  They are the volunteers that provided guidance to new units.  It is believe that the first badges were issued in 1911.  The badge included a First Class emblem as did all other adult leader badges because leaders were supposed to represent what a First Class scout should be.

The original names of the commissioner positions were different from today's name.  Through the help of George Crowl, it appears the Deputy Scout Commissioner changed names 1930's and according to Randy Worchester, Scout Commissioner changed in the 1950's or 1960's.  The name change for Neighborhood Commissioner which started in 1933 occurred in 1973.  The position of Assistant Council Commissioner was created in the 1967.  The relationships are as follows:

Original Name

Today's Name

Scout Commissioner

Council Commissioner

Deputy Scout Commissioner

District Commissioner

Assistant Deputy Scout Commissioner

Assistant District Commissioner

Neighborhood Commissioner

Unit Commissioner

The table below uses today's names for brevity.  There are varieties of many of these badges which include background material (wool, tan, khaki) and variations due to different manufacturers but that information is not included at this time.

Move the cursor over any small image to see a large image.
 

Years

CC

Asst CC

DC

Asst DC

Unit






1911-20

no position

no position

1920-38

no position

1939-53

no position

1953-66

no position

1967-69

1970-72

1972

 

1973-?

 

1973-

2010

Between 1920 and 1969, one had to understand the many color differences of the commissioner-type badges to know the position in scouting.  The background of the first-class emblem for commissioner was blue.  For professionals, it was red.  For National professionals, it was silver or white.  In addition, different parts of the badges were colored differently.  The below table is for Commissioners only.

1920-69

Wreath

Scout Badge
Outline

Eagle

Scout Commissioner /
    Council Commissioner

Silver

Silver

Silver

Assistant Council Commissioner

Silver

Silver

Gold

Deputy Scout Commissioner /
    District Commissioner

Gold

Silver

Silver

Asst. Deputy Scout Commissioner /
    Asst. District Commissioner

Gold

Silver

Gold

Neighborhood Commissioner

Gold

Gold

Gold

In 1970, BSA changed position badges to include the name.  The first series had blue backgrounds and todays have red backgrounds.  Soon after 1970, red background commissioner badges began to appear.  However, it is not clear whether the red version was issued at the same time as the blue version or subsequent to it.  In any case, by 1973, all commissioner position badges had red background.

In 1970, scouting also had its first Roundtable position badges.  And in 1991, the word "Scout" was added to the Cub position badges and the word "Boy" was added to the Scout position badges.  Other changes have occurred which can be seen in the table below.

Blue Series

Years

Com.

Asst. Com.

Scout Com.

Cub Com.

1970-72

Red Series

Years

Scout Com.

Scout Stf.

Cub Com.

Cub Stf.

1972-91

1991-

1995-96

 

2010

Varsity & Venturing

Years

Var. Com.

Var. Stf.

Ven. Com.

Ven. Stf.

1986-

1989-95

 

1995-96

 

2010




As a bit of extra information from Randy Worchester:

  • 1952 - The Arrowhead Honor for Commissioners was added.
  • 1973 - Women are allowed to become Cub Scout Unit Commissioners or Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioners.
  • 1989 - The Distinguished Commissioner Award was introduced.

Additional Supporting Information



A great deal of thanks goes to the Las Vegas International Scouting Museum, Albertus Hoogeveen and Dave Scocca for most of these badges.  I also want to thank George Crowl and Randy Worchester for helping me with the research.

This web page is intended to inform the reader of an overall understanding of Commissioner badges.  It is not intended to include all variations.

This is not an official site of the Boy Scouts of America.  The commissioner badges are copyright.  You are welcome to print this page for your reference.  However, if you would like to use the images in any other manner, you must receive permission from Craig Murray.