Boy Scouts of America Gets a New National President!

The Boy Scouts of America elected Dr. Robert M. Gates, former secretary of defense and former director of central intelligence, as the organization’s national president at the National Annual Meeting late May. In this volunteer role, Dr. Gates will lead the National Executive Board, which guides the Boy Scouts of America as it serves 2.5 million youth members, for two one-year terms.

“The Boy Scouts of America had a profound influence on my childhood and helped form the foundation of my career in public service. I’ve had tremendous opportunities in my life, but I can say without hesitation that my memories of Scouting are every bit as vivid and meaningful as what came later. I believe every boy deserves an opportunity to experience what Scouting offers,” said Dr. Gates. “Scouting teaches youth how to set and achieve goals, develops a deep commitment to serve others, and creates leaders for tomorrow who are not only prepared to serve their communities, but also prepared for life and leadership. Just as it did for me.”

Dr. Gates has a long history of participation and service in the BSA. He is a past member of the National Executive Board; a past president of the National Eagle Scout Association; a distinguished Eagle Scout; a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest commendation given by the BSA for extraordinary service to youth; and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

During his notable career, Dr. Gates has served eight U.S. presidents of both political parties. He is the only secretary of defense to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected president. Prior to his post at the Department of Defense, Dr. Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, the nation’s seventh-largest university. Dr. Gates also served as director of central intelligence and is the only career officer in the CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director.

Dr. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal and the Presidential Citizens Medal, has twice received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received the CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. On his last day in office as secretary of defense, Dr. Gates was awarded the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Obama.

In addition to Scouting, Dr. Gates is the chancellor of the College of William & Mary and has served on the board of directors and executive committee of the American Council on Education and the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

A native of Kansas, Dr. Gates received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary, his master’s degree in history from Indiana University, and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. He is the author of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, which was released in January 2014. His memoir, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War, was published in 1996. He and his wife, Becky, have two grown children.

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It is the mission of the Midnight Sun Council, Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values we strive to instill are based on those found in the Scout Oath and Law.

 

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