Sea Scout ranks

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See the main Sea Scouting article for program information.
The four Sea Scout ranks (l-r): Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster
The four Sea Scout ranks (l-r): Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster

Sea Scout advancement is for youth members of a Sea Scout ship, and consists of the Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and the Quartermaster ranks. Sea scouts may advance along the trail to Eagle Scout under certain conditions.


Sea Scouting advancement

Source: Guide to Advancement (© 2019) § Sea Scout Ranks and Awards

All requirements must be completed before the 21st birthday, and the ranks are available to registered Sea Scouts only.

Sea Scout ranks


Main article: Apprentice rank

Striving for Apprentice rank, active Sea Scouts learn ideals, courtesies, procedures, and responsibilities, and how members of a ship are organized and uniformed. Basic swimming and beginning seamanship skills are required, as is knowledge of safety, emergency procedures, and Safe Swim Defense. Sixteen hours of service in ship projects, activities, or equipment maintenance fill out the requirements.


Main article: Ordinary rank

Active Sea Scouts attain Ordinary rank through additional service, knowledge of the Sea Scout emblem, U.S. flag etiquette, and land and sea protocols. Successful candidates will participate in strengthening ship membership, serve as an event chair, complete quarterdeck training, pass the Swimming merit badge requirements, and qualify on various safety and emergency procedures, drills, communication methods, and Safety Afloat. They learn about the galley, build on seamanship and boat-handling skills, and learn about anchoring, piloting and navigation, and related regulations. Overnight cruise planning and participation provides for application of skills, and completing additional electives broadens horizons.


Main article: Able rank

To achieve Able rank, Sea Scouts master ceremony presentation and demonstrate knowledge of maritime history. They also teach others—perhaps Scouts and Venturers—about the program and fulfill leadership responsibilities. They must pass the Lifesaving merit badge requirements and develop further expertise in safety and first aid. There is a continued progression in seamanship, boat-handling skills, anchoring, and piloting and navigation, as well as a deeper understanding of maritime environmental issues. The Sea Scout Long Cruise badge is required for Able, as is completion of additional electives.


Main article: Quartermaster Award

The highest award for Sea Scouts presents a challenge that, when met, has lifelong benefits. The Quartermaster candidate must think analytically about how the program is delivered and supported, while developing a deeper understanding of Scouting ideals. Most requirements represent intensification of what was learned for previous ranks, but with significant additions in the Quartermaster service project, cruise, study of weather and forecasting, and completion of additional electives. The cruise involves taking long-term command of a vessel and crew and conducting critical drills.

Sea Scouting special opportunities awards

Scouts BSA advancement

Sea Scouts who earned First Class rank when registered in Scouts BSA are qualified until their 18th birthday to continue with Scouts BSA advancement.
Guide To Advancement § Scouts BSA Advancement in Sea Scouts, pg. 31.

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