I was registered as a Leadership Corps member of my home Troop, Troop
801, where I had just earned my Eagle, and as Senior Patrol Leader
of Troop 666.
Law says this about loyality:
is Loyal. A Scout is true to his family and friends, to Scouting, to
his school, community and nation."
But to TWO
never had the start the rest of the Troops organized at Fort Knox, Kentucky
had. Troop 666 was organized in 1973 and its first chartered partner
quickly and quietly disassociated itself from the Troop no sooner than
it started. The Scoutmaster of the Troop then "jumped ship" to become
an Assistant Scoutmaster of one of the better-known Troops, and the
of Troop 666, whom was also the new Commissioner of Troops 801 and 667,
was a former Senior Drill Instructor named Paul Boals. Paul, recently
rotated from Germany with his two Scout sons, Jacob and Frank, found
their way to Troop 801, at that time one of the better Troops at Fort
Major Boals was presented immediately with a challenge: Troop 666 is
dying. It's a good Troop, with its own camping gear and a regular meeting
place. It's that number that bothered some parents and kids.
the Main Post Chapel to charter Troop 666 for one year, as a "trial
run". The Post Chaplain agreed, stating that "its just a number and
we're glad to do our part to disspell any notion of the "bad nature
of the number".
many Christians, the number "666" equates to the "mark of the beast".
In Revelations, the New Testament speaks of people being marked with
those three numbers on their foreheads or hands. So, when the 3rd Battalion
of the 54th Infantry received a charter to operate Troop number 666
(the next "free number available for the Lincoln Trail District"), the
image of wearing white "666"s with a red background immediately repelled
families (at least those families familiar enough with the Bible) away
from the Troop.
unit, which called itself "the Devil's Battalion", thought that the
number would go great with their military "tradition". They had no problem
with the numbers, but a new Battalion Commander, with aspirations of
someday commanding an Armored Brigade, distanced himself from the Boy
Scout Troop with the "wicked numbers". The rest of the unit did the
same, leaving parents and a small number of new Scouts without much
to go on.
had another name for the Troop...we just called it "sick-sick-sick".
So it was
Paul Boals that asked me to please consider lending my leadership and
guidance to this Troop on its deathbed. It had no boys senior enough
to serve as its leader. It's a relatively new Troop and "you can do
wonders helping out the Scoutmaster", an enlisted soldier that was a
Scout but never a Scouter. Paul wanted me to serve as its Senior Patrol
Leader, the usually elected boy leader of the Troop, until they can
get on their feet.
telling him that I would do it after I became Eagle and only for six
months. By then, I reasoned, they would be experienced enough to elect
their own Senior Patrol Leader.
It was fun
to once again take a Troop from the ground up, just Iike I did with
Troop 801, and to build it back up!! I talked two other Scouts from
other Troops into "jumping over" to Troop 666. Don Scobie and Kermit
Olive knew me from high school JROTC. They became my Assistant Senior
Patrol Leader and Troop Scribe, respectively.
times during the fall and winter, we would sit around and imagine taking
a brand new Troop and finding other senior boys...and REALLY make the
Troop "the best one on Post". With all of that talent, skills and egos
going "...why shouldn't we be the best??" We were satisfied with just
getting the twelve or so young boys in 666 ready for the Spring Camporee
and summer camp.
Troop 801 Scouts didn't like one of their senior boys "working for the
competition". I missed them and while they understood why I went over
to "that other Troop", several called me "traitor". I had to endure
that during the Spring Camporee, which in the spring of 1976, was held
at Freeman Lake in E-Town. It did not help things when Troop 666 earned
three red and a blue ribbon during the weekend's competition -- a better
performance overall than Troop 801.
the successes at the Spring Camporee and the best intentions of the
Post Chapel, Troop 666 cased it's colors and merged with Troop 801 in
April of 1976. Don left 666 to go back to Troop 128; "Kevin" Olive left
Scouting altogether. The boys from the old Troop 666 became the Wolf
Patrol of Troop 801. I was reelected, despite my "defection", as Senior
I was also
elected to the Order of the Arrow, Scouting's national honorary, from
Troop 801. This time, I accepted the election.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
Settummanque! for Blackeagle Services