BSA to Offer Amateur Radio Operator Rating Strip
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has approved an Amateur Radio Operator rating strip for Scouts and Scouters to wear on their uniforms. According to BSA Communication Services Director Jim Wilson, K5ND, the strip recognizes the Scout or Scouter’s availability as an Amateur Radio operator for communication services for events and activities, as well as emergencies. All registered youth members and adult leaders who also hold a valid FCC-issued Amateur Radio license of any class are eligible to wear the rating strip.
“Last year, the BSA Awards and Insignia Committee introduced the Morse Code Interpreter Strip upon the recommendation of the BSA’s National Radio Scouting Committee,” Wilson told the ARRL. “We are always looking for ways to promote Amateur Radio, both within Scouting and to the world. The National Radio Scouting Committee thought this new Amateur Radio rating strip was a wonderful way to do exactly that, as it readily identifies to everyone that the wearer is a licensed radio amateur, prepared to be useful and to help others.”
Wilson, who heads up the National Radio Scouting Committee, said that the Amateur Radio Operator rating strip is similar to the Amateur Radio Operator badge offered as a proficiency badge by Scouts Australia, as well as the badge recently introduced by Scouting Netherlands. It follows in the footsteps of the Scout Radioman personal interest badge for Senior Scouts and Explorer Scouts that was offered by the Boy Scouts of America in the 1940s. The strip is worn on the right sleeve (see illustration below).