Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

“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

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.

Distinguished Eagle Scout Medal
DESA medals have a red, white, and blue ribbon with a gold Eagle pendant.
A similar gold Eagle is worn as a device on an Eagle Scout uniform knot.

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.

Golden Gate Area Council’s Distinguished Eagle Scouts

Click on each Eagle Scout to learn more about them.

Bill Baker DESA

Bill Baker
Eagle: 1956 | DESA 1987

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Russell Hays Blanchard
Eagle: 1937 | DESA: 1984

Stephen G. Breyer
Eagle: 1952 | DESA: 2007

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Gerald P. Carr
Eagle: 1947 | DESA: 1974

DESA Kent Clayburn Silver Buffalo

Kent Clayburn
DESA: 2021

Rear Admiral Thomas A. Cropper, USN

Thomas A. Cropper
DESA: 2019

Clifford Dochterman DESA

Clifford Dochterman
Eagle: 1939 | DESA: 1991

John Ehrlichman DESA

John D. Ehrlichman
Eagle: 1942 | DESA: 1970

Joseph Ehrman DESA

Joseph Ehrmann III
Eagle: 1944 | DESA: 2009

Richard Goldman DESA

Richard Goldman
Eagle: 1935 | DESA: 2005

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Ralph M. Hinds
Eagle: 1957 | DESA: 1990

Lou Paulson DESA

Louis (Lou) Paulson
Eagle: 1974 | DESA: 2017

Rick Pickering DESA

Rick K. Pickering
Eagle: 1975 | DESA: 2010

Chauncey Schmidt DESA

Chauncey E. Schmidt
Eagle: 1948 | DESA: 1987

Chuck Smith DESA

Charles Smith
Eagle: 1959 | DESA: 2005

Brian D. Thiessen
Eagle: 1956 | DESA: 1992

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Lee (Skip) Vellom
Eagle: 1947 | DESA: 1981

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Charles Weaver
Eagle: 1944 | DESA: 1990

Bill Baker DESA

Bill Baker

Eagle Scout -1956, Oakland Area Council
DESA – 1987, Mount Diablo Council

Served in the California State Assembly from 1981 to 1993 and the US Congress from 1993 to 1997 representing Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Russell Hays Blanchard

Eagle Scout – 1937
DESA – 1984, Mount Diablo Council

Stephen G. Breyer

Eagle Scout – 1952, San Francisco Council
DESA – 2007, San Francisco Bay Area Council

DESA Citation

Whereas

Stephen G. Breyer

Earned the rank of

Eagle Scout

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America 55 years ago, on January 23, 1952; and

Whereas, as an Eagle Scout, he has continued to serve God, his country, and other people by following the principles of the Scout Oath and Law; and

Whereas, he has achieved distinction as a lawyer and jurist; and

Whereas, he has given distinguished service to his community and nation as Associate justice, Supreme Court of the United States; Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee; Member of the United States Sentencing Commission and Assistant Special Prosecutor Watergate Special Prosecution Force; Author; Trustee, Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Active Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Bar Associations; Council on Foreign Relations and the American Philosophical Society; and having received numerous awards and recognitions, and

Now, therefore, in recognition of these and other achievements and the desire of the Boy Scouts of America, upon nomination of the San Francisco Bay Area Council acting on behalf of the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America, the honor and rank of 

Distinguished Eagle Scout

In testimony whereof, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Eagle Scout Association have caused this commemorative document to be signed by its officers and its corporate seal to be hereunto affixed.

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Gerald P. Carr

Eagle Scout – 1947, Long Trail Council
DESA – 1974, Mount Diablo Council

DESA Kent Clayburn Silver Buffalo

Kent Clayburn

Eagle Scout – 
DESA – 2021, Golden Gate Area Council

Rear Admiral Thomas A. Cropper, USN

Thomas A. Cropper

Eagle Scout – 
DESA – 2019, Mount Diablo Silverado Council

Clifford Dochterman DESA

Clifford Dochterman

Eagle Scout – 1939, Central Ohio Council
DESA – 1991, Mount Diablo Council

John Ehrlichman DESA

John D. Ehrlichman

Eagle Scout – 1942
DESA – 1970, San Francisco Bay Area Council

Joseph Ehrman DESA

Joseph Ehrman III

Eagle Scout – 1944
DESA – 2009, San Francisco Bay Area Council

DESA Citation

Whereas

Joseph Ehrman III

Earned the Rank of

EAGLE SCOUT

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America 65 years ago, on June 22, 1944; and

Whereas, as an Eagle Scout he has continued to serve God, his country, and other people by following the principles of the Scout Oath and Law; and

Whereas, he has achieved distinction as an educator and Scout leader; and

Whereas, he has given distinguished service to his community and nation as mathematics teacher, testing coordinator, Head Counselor and Dean of Students at Lowell High School, San Francisco, California, which is one of the Nation’s top public high schools; he is an active volunteer with the Lowell High School Alumni Association Board of Directors; recipient, District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver Award, San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America; assistant Scoutmaster for two World Jamborees and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow; in 2001 he retired as Scoutmaster of Troop 14 after 49 years in that position, and continues to serve the troop today as assistant Scoutmaster; during his time as Scoutmaster, 256 young men in his troop attained the Eagle Scout rank; and having received numerous awards and recognitions; and

Now, therefore,in recognition of these and other achievements and the desire of the Boy Scouts of America, upon nomination of the San Francisco Bay Area Council acting on behalf of the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America, the honor and rank of

DISTINGUISHED EAGLE SCOUT

is awarded to and conferred upon him.

In testimony whereof, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Eagle Scout Association have caused this commemorative document to be signed by its officers and its corporate seal to be hereto affixed.

Richard Goldman DESA

Richard Goldman

Eagle Scout – 1935, San Francisco Council
DESA – 2005, San Francisco Bay Area Council

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Ralph M. Hinds

Eagle Scout – 1957
DESA – 1990, Mount Diablo Council

Lou Paulson DESA

Louis (Lou) Paulson

Eagle Scout – 1974, Mount Diablo Council 
DESA – 2017, Mount Diablo Silverado Council

DESA Citation

WHEREAS

LOUIS PAULSON

Earned the rank of

Eagle Scout

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America 43 years ago, on December 12, 1974; and

WHEREAS, as an Eagle Scout, he has continued to serve God, his country, and other people by following the principles of the Scout Oath and Law; and

WHEREAS, he has achieved distinction as a Firefighter and Union Leader; an

WHEREAS, he has given distinguished service to his community and nation as President of California Professional Firefighters, representing over 30,000 local, state and federal firefighters; president of California Fire Foundation, a nonprofit organization serving fallen firefighters families and there communities ; co-chair of the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee, a joint labor & management training partnership; 30 years on the front lines as a Contra Costa County firefighter and local union president; board of directors of California Labor Federation, Peggy Brown Award for Social Justice, “Acts of Leadership” Award from U.C. Berkeley Labor Center.

THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED, that in recognition of these and other achievements and the desire of the Boy Scouts of America, upon nomination of the San Francisco Bay Area Council acting on behalf of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, the honor and rank of

Distinguished Eagle Scout

is awarded to and conferred upon him, in Pleasant Hill, California, this 18th day of January, 2018.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Eagle Scout Association have caused this commemorative document to be signed by its officers and its corporate seal to be hereunto affixed.

Rick Pickering DESA

Rick K. Pickering

Eagle Scout – 1975, Mount Diablo Council
DESA – 2010, San Francisco Bay Area Council

DESA Citation

WHEREAS

RICK K. PICKERING

Earned the rank of

Eagle Scout
With Crossed Palms

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America 35 years ago, on January 7, 1975; and

WHEREAS, as an Eagle Scout, he has continued to serve God, his country, and other people by following the principles of the Scout Oath and Law; and

WHEREAS, he has achieved distinction as a C.E.O and Public Official; and

WHEREAS, he has given distinguished service to his community and nation as:  the Chief Executive Officer of the Alameda County Agricultural Fair Association;  President of the Western Fairs Association;  President of the California Fairs Services Authority;  President of the California Authority of Racing Fairs;  Chairman of the California Fairs Alliance;  Board Member of the California Construction Authority;  President-Elect of the San Francisco Bay Area Council;  Council Commissioner;  and a Church Elder, Deacon and Board Chairman.  He has been named as “One of the Most Creative CEO’s in America” by industry publications.  Having obtained a Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors Degree from Biola University, he has received numerous awards, including special recognition from the California Senate and Assembly.  He is the founder of PRIME, which partners resources amongst faith-based organizations around the world.

THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED, that in recognition of these and other achievements and the desire of the Boy Scouts of America, upon nomination of the San Francisco Bay Area Council acting on behalf of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, the honor and rank of

Distinguished Eagle Scout

is awarded to and conferred upon him, in Oakland, California, this 2nd day of June, 2010.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Eagle Scout Association have caused this commemorative document to be signed by its officers and its corporate seal to be hereunto affixed.

Chauncey Schmidt DESA

Chauncey E. Schmidt

Eagle Scout – 1948, Waubeek Area Council
DESA – 1987, San Francisco Bay Area Council

Chuck Smith DESA

Charles Smith

Eagle Scout – 1959
DESA – 2005, Mount Diablo Silverado Council

Brian D. Thiessen

Eagle Scout – 1956, Tahoe Area Council
DESA – 1992, Mount Diablo Silverado Council

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Lee (Skip) Vellom

Eagle Scout – 1947, Los Angeles Area Council
DESA – 1981, Mount Diablo Council

DESA Headshot Place Holder

Charles Weaver

Eagle Scout – 1944
DESA – 1990, San Francisco Bay Area Council

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.