Boy Scouts recognize Traverse City Coast Guardsman

Photo of award recipients

WASHINGTON - Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas McArthur (second from left) is formally recognized alongside other military members during a Scouting Salutes the Military event Oct. 27, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Tamargo.

The National Capitol Area Council Boy Scouts of America honored a local hero at the third-annual Scouting Salutes the Military event in Washington, D.C., Thursday. 

The purpose of the event was to honor one active-duty enlisted person who personifies the values found in the Scout Oath and Law to represent each of the five military branches.

Photo of award presentation

WASHINGTON - Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas McArthur accepts an award from Master Chief Petty Officer Richard Hooker during the ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Tamargo .

The Boy Scouts recognized Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas McArthur, currently assigned to Air Station Traverse City, Mich., for his continued involvement with the Boy Scouts and for his heroic actions Aug. 15, 2010, when he saved 12 people who nearly drowned in the rough waters of Lake Michigan.

As a key instructor for the search and rescue exhibit during the Coast Guard’s National Scout Jamboree Task Force in May 2010, McArthur showcased the Coast Guard’s missions to more than 69,000 scouts and their leaders. As the youngest Eagle Scout and youngest member of the task force, the Boy Scouts were able to easily relate to him.

McArthur demonstrated exceptional heroism and selflessness Aug. 15, 2010, while off duty at a beach in Frankfort, Mich. There he witnessed multiple people struggling against wind, waves and the strong rip currents off the north break wall. Over the course of an hour he entered the water multiple times, battling the harsh conditions, to bring 12 swimmers to safety.

As noted in the ceremony program, McArthur’s actions truly illustrate the tenants of the Scout Oath: Duty to God and Country, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self.