Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Feb. 26 at 11:27 a.m. EST with a comment from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.
The National Eagle Scout Association presented its Distinguished Eagle Scout Award to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein in a Feb. 24 ceremony at the Air Force Association’s headquarters in Arlington, Va.
“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,” the National Eagle Scout Association’s website states. “It is NESA’s highest honor.”
According to NESA, nominees for the award must have:
- Become Eagle Scouts with the Boys Scouts of America at least 25 years before the date of their nomination;
- Achieved “fame” or “eminence,” or been recognized on the national level within their chosen fields; and
- Have an exemplary track record of volunteerism, though not necessarily with BSA.
“I’m proud to join this elite fraternity of recipients like President Gerald Ford and Brig. Gen. Charles McGee, who the President recently promoted at the White House,” Goldfein said. “The scouts provided me with a solid foundation. The values I learned growing up at home and through my time with the scouts prepared me for service—it helped me build the character required to overcome obstacles and learn every day.”
This isn’t Goldfein’s first scouting award. The service chief—who spent the summer of 1980 working as a ranger at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M.—received the 2019 Distinguished Staff Alumni Award from the Philmont Staff Association last May.