Are You Wearing Your Boy Scout Uniform Properly?

Parts of the uniform
Parts of the uniform
long sleeved cold weather shirts
long sleeved cold weather shirts
Sash with Scarf & Slide
Sash with Scarf & Slide
Sleeve placement
Sleeve placement
Pocket placement
Pocket placement
Red Jacket
Red Jacket


The purpose in wearing a uniform is to show that you are equals in the spirit of brotherhood and that you stand for certain ideals.

Always wear your uniform proudly. When you are in uniform, remember who you are and what you stand for. Let it be an example to all others who see you that you are a person of responsibility who can be trusted, and can be trusted to lend a hand when help is needed.

Always act accordingly, as people will always look to you with respect.

Wearing your Scout uniform: Wear your complete uniform proudly and correctly at all Scouting events:

  • At patrol and troop meetings, hikes, camps, rallies, and banquets
  • When you appear before a board of review or a court of honor
  • When you take part in Scout service projects in your community and in the backcountry
  • During Scout Anniversary Week in February

*A note about uniforms:

A used Scout uniform should never be sold. It is a tradition that once a Scout uniform has been worn, it is considered an "experienced uniform," and should be put into the Lending Closet (in good condition) to be freely given to upcoming Scouts.

The parts of the uniform: consists of a Scout cap, a shirt, trousers or shorts, belt, socks, sash, and closed shoes (not sandals) or hiking boots. For cold weather, you may choose to wear a long-sleeved Scout shirt or a long-sleeved shirt under your Scout uniform (usually red, green or navy). (see photo)

Scouts throughout the world are recognized by their neckerchiefs. Each troop chooses its own color and/or design and they are to be worn uniformly throughout the troop.

How to wear a neckerchief: Roll the long edge of the scarf to about 6 inches from the tip. Place the scarf smoothly around your neck and lay it under or over the collar and hold it in place with a slide. (see photo)

Scarf and slide are to be worn at all functions: Class A dress, banquets, special functions, such as parades, ceremonies, church or when attending any visiting Scout troops or functions.

When/How to wear your Scout sash: The Scout sash is considered part of your Class A Uniform and is worn over the right shoulder with the pointed end at the left hip. It is to be worn at all special scouting events:

  • Court of Honor
  • Scout Sunday
  • All banquets, parades, ceremonies, church functions, visiting other troops
  • Members of the Order of the Arrow (OA) will wear their white sash in place of the green sash at the above scouting events and will wear them to all OA meetings/functions unless otherwise specified.

Proper placement of badges: (see photo)

Epaulettes-are distinguished by color:

Cub Scouts/Leaders-Blue

Boy Scouts/Leaders-Red



Right Pocket

Venture/Varsity strip-centered above BSA (but not touching) & above Interpreter Strip

Interpreter strip-centered directly above BSA (but not touching)

Temporary badges-attached by the loop to the button, the temporary badge is to be worn only one at a time and for one year only! It is here that I must reiterate: no more than one temporary badge at one time!

Permanent patches-to be centered & sewn directly onto the right pocket (i.e. JLT patch (Junior Leadership Training), the Hawaiian patch...)

Order of the Arrow Patch-the top of patch is centered & sewn at the top edge of the pocket flap; patch is sewn only at the sides of flap to allow access to pocket & button

Recruiter badge-centered at bottom edge of pocket


Left Pocket

Rank-touching edge of flap point

Arrow of Light-touching bottom edge of rank

Religious Emblem-above left pocket touching edge

Religious Medals-centered directly over top edge of pocket

Service Stars-centered on left pocket 1" above top pocket seam

World Crest-centered 4" above left pocket


Right Sleeve

U.S. flag-at edge of shoulder seam

Baden Powell Patrol Star-touching edge of Patrol emblem

Patrol emblem-directly below flap (but not touching)

Quality Patch-4" from bottom edge of sleeve


Left Sleeve

Council Patch-centered at edge of shoulder seam

Troop Numeral-touches bottom edge of council patch

Anniversary notch-between council patch & troop numeral ¼" from each

Badge of Office-touching bottom edge of troop numeral

Training Patch-1 ½" from bottom of sleeve


Left Shoulder

Den Chief's cord-left shoulder on epaulette


Class A Uniform

  • Scout shirt
  • Scout scarf & slide
  • Scout cap
  • Scout pants/shorts
  • Scout socks
  • Scout belt
  • Scout sash

Class B Uniform

  • Scout t-shirt
  • Scout cap
  • Scout pants/shorts
  • Scout belt
  • Scout socks


Red jackets (optional) are available at the Scout hut and include the BSA patch. Any patches that have to do with Scouting may be placed on it. This includes patches and/or strips from any state parks that you have visited/hiked/serviced with your troop in the past. It is a great idea to place all patches that have been removed from your shirt onto your jacket as a memory of your scouting experience. Others, as well as Scouts, will be able to see the great fun you've had and places you've been while in scouting, and is also an incentive to others for joining your troop!

I hope that you and your family enjoy having as much fun Boy Scouting as we relished for 21 years. And as have both of our sons, use and share all of your skills long after becoming Eagle Scouts. Always keep God and country first, involve yourself and support your troop well, create your own fun, keep our Scout Laws and values and exude Boy Scout spirit as much outside of your troop as well as with your troop!

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Comments 16 comments

Wayne Riepe 8 years ago

Is there such a thing as a Boy Scout adult uniform in a Hawaiian style shirt?

ryan dieringer 7 years ago

where do patches for NRA qualifications go? i got the expert qualification patch and i dont know where to put it

Nicholas Thorn 7 years ago

This site is a great refference, but in scouting the "Class A" and "Class B" uniforms are called the "Field Uniform" and "Activity Shirt".

Sweeps Luck profile image

Sweeps Luck 7 years ago from Fountain Inn Author

May i ask how long you have been in Scouting?

indnajns 6 years ago

Can someone clarify patch placement for the sleeves of the short sleeve Class A now that the new uniforms have come out? Is the new patch order ONLY for new shirts with pockets or should all shirts have their patches re-ordered?

dniatha 6 years ago

I'm with indnajns. I've been all over all the links to proper boy scout attire and how to wear patches with the new uniforms and pockets on sleeves. I've found consistanly two sets of directions; touching and centered over the sleeve, and touching the council patch. Nothing is real clear with the merit sash either.

Pamela Honea 6 years ago

Wayne Riepe: No, there is no such thing as a Boy Scout adult uniform in a Hawaiian style Shirt. As stated in my article above, Dress A or Dress B uniform will depend upon the function in which the Scout or adult Scout is participating.

Pamela Honea 6 years ago

Ryan Dieringer: If the Scout (or Adult Leader) received a patch for doing something pertaining to/with the Boy Scout troop--i.e. participating in an Army Day, the military will give a patch for that military unit once the Scout has achieved the specific tasks.--Special patches such as these are considered temporary patches and may be worn on the right pocket and used as stated in my article above. Plastic 'cases' for patches with or without loops can purchased at your local BSA store.

Pamela Honea 6 years ago

In response to: Nicholas Thorn 2

"This site is a great reference, but in scouting the "Class A" and "Class B" uniforms are called the "Field Uniform" and "Activity Shirt"."

I have been a Leader in Boy Scouts of America since my son was of the age to become a Tiger Cub, continuing on into his Boy Scout years and long after he AND his brother earned their Eagle Scout badges. They are 29 and 24 years old. The uniforms were always referred to as Class A and Class B uniforms, although, in the early '00's, some troops have referred to them as 'Field' & 'Activity'. Some have even referred to them as 'our Scout shirt' and 'our Scout T-shirts'. Because we were a military family, you will find that the Scout uniforms on or around military bases/posts are referred to as 'Class A' and 'Class B' uniforms, and even though the Scout troop may have been conducted by 'civilians' in surrounding civilian areas. I hope that this has answered your question.

H Gilson 6 years ago

Some clarification on the "Red Jackets" The following is from the BSA website: "Jackets and Their Insignia - Multicolored jackets in nylon, wool, and poplin are available for optional wear by youth members and adult leaders. The universal emblem should be worn on the left pocket or, in case of a jacket without chest pockets, in the same area. The Philmont bull emblem is especially designed for the red wool jac-shirt to be sewn on the left side above the pocket. On all jackets the Philmont Scout Ranch, Philmont Training Center, or high-adventure base emblems may be worn centered on the right pocket or in the same relative position if there is no pocket. The Order of the Arrow has adopted the jac-shirt as its official jacket, and members may wear the 6-inch national Order of the Arrow patch centered on the back. The large Philmont, NESA, jamboree, National Camping School, Scoutmaster Award of Merit, and international participant emblems are approved to be worn on the back of the jacket. Only one such emblem may be worn at a time. The Venture/Varsity letter may be worn on the center of the right side of the red or blaze nylon or poplin jacket. In all cases, the lightweight jacket is an alternate for the jac-shirt, and this insignia may be worn on it in the same way."

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Austinguy 6 years ago

What a great resource. I have no memory of much of what you talked about because my Scouting days were so long ago. But if I had a Scout (I have no sons, I would keep these guidelines.

al_masculine 6 years ago

hmmm! You must have been a boyscot consultant then.

debbie 4 years ago

I always see the uniforms for sale by people. Mostly they sell it for close to what it costs new.

McKenze 3 years ago

Is the 2013 Scout Sunday considered a temporary patch? If yes, am I correct in placing it on the pocket?

Johnf231 2 years ago

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