Advancement is an important part of the Sea Scout experience. These experiences help Sea Scouts to set realistic goals to achieve rank, accomplish projects, and gain knowledge and understanding of the world around them. There are many opportunities for advancement in Sea Scouts. Included are the trails to Eagle and Quartermaster. Each of these trails is a highlight experience, but each requires the Sea Scout to set their own goals and follow through to achievement. The requirements for advancement were designed by Sea Scout youth to establish standards of performance for all Sea Scouts.

Go to the Sea Scout Advancement on the national Sea Scouts BSA website for the detailed requirements for each of the following Sea Scout ranks.

While working on the skills, check out the Sea Scouting Awards and Recognition page for opportunities to challenge the Scout, and recognitions available to adult leaders. 


Apprentice Rank badgeStriving 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. (GTA

Ordinary Rank badgeActive 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. (GTA

Able Rank badgeTo 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. (GTA

Quartermaster Rank medal

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. (GTA