Commander William B. Palmer II
Eagle Scout Class of 1986
Troop 370, Parkville, MO
Occupation: Commander, US Navy
Commander William B. Palmer II, an Eagle Scout and native of Parkville, Missouri, currently serves as the Commanding Officer of Regional Support Organization Pacific Northwest. Regional Support Organization Pacific Northwest provides technical and readiness assistance to two fast frigates and two guided missile destroyers home ported in the Pacific Northwest. CDR Will Palmer holds a Bachelor's of Arts in International Relations from the University of San Diego, a Master's of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University and a Master's of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He enlisted in the Navy as a Chinese Linguist in 1988 and has served in numerous positions and received a number of promotions over his years in the military.
Will’s father, a Life Scout, was involved with Scouting and encouraged his son along the trail to Eagle. Commander Palmer loved the challenge offered by the outdoors, but that was only one of many reasons he was attracted to Scouting.
How and why did you join Scouting?
Palmer: “I was invited to join by a friend — a life-long friend with whom I shared Eagle Courts. I did not join Scouting for any one specific reason. I loved the outdoors — hunting and fishing with my Dad. My Dad was a Scout. As he says, he’s a “Life” Life Scout. He stressed that not earning Eagle is a lifelong regret.”
What were your favorite Scouting activities or camping trips?
Palmer: “By far, my favorite activities were our troop’s traditional, annual campouts. Two that still stand out are a Winter Survival Campout and a Rifle and Shotgun Campout. Every January / February timeframe, we went on a Winter Survival Campout where I learned real survival skills that were later confirmed in aviation survival training. I’ve also used some of these skills camping, hunting and fishing in cold weather such as I found in central Maine. Other traditional campouts included a November Rifle and Shotgun Campout where we learned gun safety and applied marksman skills on the range. I believe that years of attending these campouts, combined with a couple while in the Leadership Corps, started a lifelong passion in teaching others how to safely and efficiently handle weapons, most notably as a Weapons Officer.”
How did Scouting impact your choice of major in college or your choice of career?
Palmer: “Scouting helped define my concept of duty and service. My adult leaders embodied both military and community service. Our Scoutmaster, a Green Beret Vietnam Veteran, continued his service as the Scoutmaster and a Marine Corps Reservist. Other scout leaders were volunteer firefighters, policeman and great citizens. They gave so much to my friends and I…even after they gave in other capacities. I think Scouting gave me a distinct desire to always serve. Business never interested me.”
What does being an Eagle Scout mean to you?
Palmer: “I belong to a brotherhood that believes they are bound to ideals greater than themselves. We value doing a good turn daily, living by the Scout Oath and Law, achieving goals and active citizenship. But most impressive and inspiring, is that young men of great character lead our young scouts, young boys, with the goal of also being an Eagle Scout — permanently associated with those values. Eagle Scout is not just a milestone achievement, but also a lifelong journey and call to serve others.”