The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) was established 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. It is NESA’s highest honor.
Previous recipients include President Gerald R. Ford, several governors and senators, military flag officers, university presidents, chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, and nationally known lawyers, educators, and doctors.
The selection of recipients is made by the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award Committee, comprised of members who are also DESA recipients. Not all nominations acted upon by the award committee are approved. A substantial percentage of nominations are declined.
In short, Distinguished Eagle Scouts are those that have risen to the top of their avocation or vocation at a national level.
The NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA) was created to recognize notable Eagle Scouts who had either performed distinguished service at the local, state, or regional level or who was known nationally, but had not yet met the 25-year tenure for the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Often, worthy candidates for the NOESA have inspired others through their actions and have devoted a lifetime to their profession, avocation, community, and beliefs, at great sacrifice to themselves and their families.
Previous recipients include famous authors, explorers, television personalities, military flag officers, scientists, government officials, and prominent businessmen.
The selection of recipients is made by the local council NESA committee (which may utilize a NESA awards sub-committee), Scout executive, and council president. Each recipient’s actions and accomplishments should elevate the stature of Eagle Scouts in the public eye. Therefore, not all nominations are acted upon, and a substantial percentage of nominations are declined.