Gerald Ford was the first Eagle Scout to become Vice President and later President. He began his Scouting career on December 17, 1924, when he became a member of Troop 15, sponsored by the Trinity M.E. Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was recognized with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award "for his service to the Nation and community," by the Grand Valley Council at Grand Rapids, Mich., in May 1970. He received the Scouter of the Year Award on December 2, 1974, from the National Capitol Area Council, Washington, D.C.
"One of the proudest moments of my life came in the Court of Honor when I was awarded the Eagle Scout badge. I still have that badge. It is a treasured possession. I am the first Eagle Scout Vice President. The three great principles which Scouting provides—self-discipline, teamwork, and moral and patriotic values—are the basic building blocks of leadership. I applaud the Scouting program for continuing to emphasize them. I am confident that your ability to bring ideals, values, and leadership training to millions of our young people will help to bring about a new era—a time in which not only our Republic will progress in peace and freedom, but a time in which the entire world shall be secure, and all its people free."