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I hear that Armed Forces Personnel Help BSA Scouts at government expense, is that true?

Date: 4/14/98

Q. I understand that active duty U.S. Army Soldiers will receive TDY (Temporary Duty) to operate the Rifle Ranges for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and that the U. S. Navy allowed CB Units (Construction Battalion) to perform work at Boy and Girl Scout Camps either grading roads or cutting trails using U. S. Military Equipment, is this true?

A. (Taken heavily from posts by Settummanque!, The Black Eagle) and (CEdsall) This is done under some VERY CAREFUL guidelines, with a number of Organizations including Boy and Girl Scouts. For example, the Army's regulations clearly state that several situations have to exist BEFORE a local Council can receive assistance from soldiers to help out with Scouting activities.

The situation must be one in which, all other means of accomplishing the Goal have been exhausted, and a statement to that effect is given by the Council Scout Executive. A copy of this statement is sent to the BSA's National Office, the Council's serving Regional Office, and to the Army's MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) executive agent in Washington for concurrence.

The concurrence normally only occurs if an Army unit can incorporate their Training and Evaluation Plan or normal operations into a Scouting event... It's a plus for the unit, because they do real-life stuff with real equipment and the possibility of doing it wrong is great; it's good for the Scout Council... and it's good for the nation, because the soldiers get in their training at a usually lower cost overall than going to some Army, Air Force or Navy base somewhere just because they have buildings there that the unit can tear down and build back up!

A senior officer (usually a Colonel/Captain or General/Admiral) has to approve it in advance, if for some reason down the road, the work injures a Scout, if a Scout gets hurt or killed during the work, if a soldier or family member gets injured or killed during the work, and of course, if the work was done outside of the Army's policies and the Regulation which governs such work (Army Regulation 631-5)

Any soldier (that's Army, I don't know about the rest of the services) can be granted a Permissive TDY (Temporary DutY (don't ask me, I didn't make up the acronym)) to participate in activities that support "federally chartered Scouting organizations". I recall the quote from AR 635-1 (Leaves, Passes, and Permissive TDY) because I used the option many times throughout my career. It's quite easy to do and only requires the approval of the first LTC (O-5) in the soldiers chain of command (not too high up the ladder). As I recall, it's limited to about 10 days a year. Examples of uses of permissive TDY include taking Scouts to summer camp, Camporees, pretty much any activity where the soldier is serving in a leadership position in the Scouting program.

Permissive TDY can be used for: *participate as leaders in recognized national organizations (both Boy and Girl Scouting, but also organizations like the Association of the United States Army, the Reserve Officers Association, The Retired Officers Association, the Non-Commissioned Officers' Association, religious groups and church groups, community groups like the ACLU and the NAACP, and other recognized national organizations and their local chapters)

*search for and relocate to a new installation (house-hunting, interviews with new commands, interviews with college or university officials, and the like)

*extended care for those children whom are mentally or physically challenged (for instance, to take a child to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital to get treated or to be with the child as they are being operated on)

*to participate in special community events and activities (Founders' Day, Military Appreciation Day, etc.) in the host community.

From the regulation, AR 630-5, par 11-4, e. "support of federally chartered national scouting organizations, provided the member's participation in the scouting program is as an adult leader or supervisor on a continuing basis and such absence will be a relatively short duration (normally no more than 14 calendar days). "

For those who are not familiar, a permissive TDY is similar to a sabbatical (except you get paid). You get paid your REGULAR salary, not a special salary or amount for participation in the PTDY. Also, you sign a statement stating that ALL expenses for this period are your own and you will not later on "try to recoup" from the military service or from the organization that you worked with. Permissive TDY is used when the soldier or airman wishes to have this period of time not count against his or her annual vacation leave (30 paid days each year) for whatever reasoning, and he or she wants or has been requested to serve as a leader or supervisor of a Scouting event or activity.

"Federally chartered scouting organizations" according to the regulation also encompasses the GSUSA, Junior Achievement of America, YMCA and YWCA, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. PTDY has been used for Junior Achievement, for church groups coming to visit the post, and for Boys' Club usage of a hangar for a overnight "sleepover" and tour of the post.

While Lieutenant Colonels/Commanders can approve such requests, they can ONLY do so as written above for a 10-14 day period of time. Everything else above that MUST be approved by a officer having General Court-Martial authority and MUST be further approved by the Department's Personnel Command's flag officer if the period of time is over 30 calendar days (par 11-3, 2)

While a military Scouter can and have served as a Scoutmaster for a unit at camp (seven calendar days) under PTDY with a LTC's approval, if a soldier wants to serve on the summer camp staff or if a unit wants to build something at the camp, they must get a full Colonel or General officer's approval in writing and if the period is more than 30 days in length, the approval must come from the Army's PERSCOM (personnel command), the Army Reserve's AR-PERSCOM or the Guard Bureau's GUARDPERCEN BEFORE the order can be issued and the soldier goes to work at the Scout camp.

More info from: (Dave Loomis) Date: Fri Mar 27 20:27:28 1998

One important point in allowing Engineer type units to perform heavy equipment improvements on scout reservations is that the scouts WANT the improvements, and the Engineer unit does not have to go back and remove the effects of the work they have done, as they would if it were being done on US Military Installations. A culvert that is designed and built as a training exercise on a post or fort will be torn down and rebuilt several times as training continues. A culvert built on a Scouting Reservation will be left in place, and is more cost efficient even considering the cost of transporting materials from the military installation to the Scouting Reservation.

Additionally it gives the working engineer folks a warm feeling way down deep knowing that their work will be appreciated.

Dave, MSGT, USAF, Ret.

From: (JCoble1234) The Navy doesn't have a limit on the number of days. Several years ago I spent one week at Summer Camp with a troop, One week with Webelos and another week as a program director for the districts cub scout camp (all in a row). As long as the unit which the sailor is assigned to doesn't mind on "losing" that person they can have the "TAD (Temporary Assignment Detachment (not my acronym either)) orders. For those interested look at OPNAV instruction 5760.5 for details.

The navy allows for service to any youth group to provide "leadership to youth in recognized activities".

John Coble

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