Gold metallic numbered star worn with colored background to indicate years of service in Scouting. Each BSA program has a different colored background disk: Gold for Cub Scouts, green for Boy Scouts, red for Explorers, brown for Varsity.
Adult leaders wear a service star with a light blue background to indicate years of service as an adult leader in the Scouting program. Adults who were members as youth may wear multiple stars with different backings (orange for Tiger Cubs, gold for Cub Scouts, green for Boy Scouts, red for Explorers, brown for Varsity) or may combine all BSA tenure in a single star with a blue background. Click here for placement diagram.
As boys progress, they wear the highest year they have for each program. One of the axioms of Scouting uniforming and insignia policies is that "Scouts and Scouters wear insignia and uniforming representing their current status in the movement and their current status in the program they are a part of."
For instance, a Cub Scout who have earned a one-year service star, wears a one year service star with a yellow backing. When that Cub Scout earns a two-year service star, he REPLACES the one-year pin with the two year pin. He does NOT wear both stars. Same for three, four and five year pins...they are replaced with the current pin representing "the current status of the individual."
A Boy Scout who was a Cub Scout for five years wears a five year Cub Scout year pin on his Boy Scout uniform. When he earns a year pin as a Boy Scout, he wears a one-year pin with the appropriate backing for Boy Scouting. When that Boy Scout earns a two-year service star, he REPLACES the one-year pin with the two year pin.
In this case, he DOES wear two stars -- one representing his Cub Scouting experience and the other representing his Boy Scouting experience.
The same goes for those involved in Varsity Scouting, Venturing, and service as an adult (volunteer or professional).
*The Service star program is a UNIT PROGRAM. There are no records concerning how many service stars you've received kept at the National nor local Council levels. HOWEVER, registration data IS kept at both locations for the various Veteran Awards starting with the ten-year Veteran's card and pin awarded by the local Council and going upwards from there.
*There's only SIX OFFICIAL BSA service star backings:
- - Orange for Tiger Cub YOUTH **see note below**
- - Yellow for Cub Scout YOUTH
- - Green for Boy Scout YOUTH
- - Brown for Varsity Scout YOUTH
- - Red for Exploring/Career Awareness Exploring or Venturing/Sea Scouting YOUTH
- - Light Blue for ALL ADULT service, REGARDLESS OF PROGRAM (either as a volunteer or professional)
BSA Service Stars
The colors correspond to the program in which they have been associated with; green has been used for Boy Scouting since the program started, which is why that instead of red (for Exploring/Venturing) has been chosen for Boy Scouting. Yellow, and not light blue, is used for Cub Scouting because of the piping. Light blue is traditionally associated with the local Council (the Council flag is lighter blue).