Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) was established in 1969 to acknowledge Eagle Scouts who have received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or demonstrated eminence within their field, and have a strong record of voluntary service to their community. It is NESA’s highest honor.

Only Eagle Scouts who earned the Eagle Scout rank a minimum of 25 years previously are eligible for nomination.

Since its establishment in 1969, the 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.

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


Louis (Lou) Paulson#
Rick Pickering*
Joseph Ehrman, III*
Stephen Breyer*
Richard Goldman*
Charles Smith#
Brian Thiessen#
Clifford Dochterman#
Ralph Hinds#
Charles Weaver*
Chauncey Schmidt *
Russell Blanchard#
Lee (Skip) Vellom#
Gerald Carr #
John Ehrlichman#

Legacy Council Legend
# Mount Diablo Silverado
* San Francisco Bay Area

In short, Distinguished Eagle Scouts are those that have risen to the top of their avocation or vocation at a national level.

Rick Bragga, Vice-President of the National Eagle Scout Association

Nomination Process

  • 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.
  • The nomination must state the specific reasons or how the nominee has received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or eminence within the identified field.
  • 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.
  • Nominations may be sent to the National Eagle Scout Association by the council (an individual may not submit the form) for consideration. Those selected will be added to the list of Distinguished Eagle Scouts, quarterly.