Historic Sea Scout Insignia

Sea Scouting insignia was initially developed by Kimo Wilder, Chief Seascout from 1916-23. Kimo's vision was a Scouting program on the water, with nautical-style uniforms made of Boy Scout (actually U.S. Army) material and color. Adult and youth leadership positions and advancement systems were as a consequence, what appears to modern eyes to be an unusual combination of totally unrelated and incompatible program elements. While Mr. Wilder's dedication to Sea Scouting was boundless, his tenure as the top Sea Scouting official came to an end in 1923.

The following year, Thomas J. Keane, a World War I naval officer who had been serving as the Sea Scouting Director in the Chicago Council, was asked to temporarily take over as National Sea Scouting Director. That appointment was made permanent in 1925. T.J. Keane continued to serve Sea Scouting professionally, first as National Sea Scouting Director, and in 1935 being promoted to Director of the new Senior Scouting Department, until he was called back to active service in the U.S. Navy in 1941. After World War II, Commander Keane returned to serving Sea Scouting as a dedicated volunteer, remaining active until his death in 1984. In 1963, T.J. Keane became one of only two Sea Scouting officers to receive the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to youth at the national level.

The adult and youth leadership and advancement systems was designed by T.J. Keane in the mid-1920s and have changed little since then. That said, those familiar with Sea Scouting insignia will notice many subtle changes that were implemented when Sea Scouting was incorporated into Exploring in 1949 as Sea Exploring. This page illustrated Sea Scouting insignia largely from the 1925-1948 era. A separate page will be developed in the future for insignia from the 1949-1980 era, as well as the pre-1925 era (if the insignia can be found).

Nearly all insignia pictured here is scanned from the originals. Click on any thumbnail illustration to see a much larger picture of the insignia.



Sea Scout uniform from 1916-23


hat pin
Portmaster pin
hat pin

Schooner class
rank circle
no 203
Officer's cuff emblem
Officer's cuff
emblem on khaki
Cuff emblem with Signalman Billet
Cuff emblem with
Signalman billet
on khaki
Coxswain billet mark
billet mark
Messman billet mark
billet mark
Yeoman billet mark
billet mark
Baker billet mark
billet mark
Signalman billet mark
billet mark
Waterman billet mark
billet mark
Handyman billet mark
billet mark
Shipsmith billet mark
billet mark
Sailmaker billet mark
billet mark


Portmaster pin
Sea Scout insignia

Sea Scout insignia

Sea Explorer insignia

Sea Scout insignia


Click here to
view merit badges
through the ages.
This item is missing from the historic Sea Scouting insignia collection. If you can make it available to us, please contact Bruce Johnson.

Please send any comments or additions to this page to Bruce Johnson.

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