Camp Pendleton Eagle Scout awarded prestigious medal[MIGRATE]
By Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions
| April 25, 2012
During a cold evening outing with a church group, one Camp Pendleton Eagle Scout encountered a rare situation that required him to call upon his Boy Scouts of America training.
Connor F. Stotts was awarded the ‘Honor Medal with crossed palms’ at the Blinder Memorial Chapel, April 24, in recognition for single-handedly saving the lives of three swimmers.
"All of the [swimmers] credited Connor Stotts with saving their lives," said Marcus Sneed, Stotts' Scoutmaster.
Disregarding his own safety and physically fatigue, Stotts repeatedly entered overbearing ocean waves in an attempt to rescue his friends which had been pulled out to sea by a rip-tide current. Stotts' swift response and courageous actions allowed him to bring each individual swimmer back to shore for emergency service treatment.
Stotts' dedication and hard work allowed him to obtain many badges during his time with Boy Scout Troop 790. Ironically, one of the last badges Stotts had earned was the BSA Lifesaving Merit Badge, a badge that prepares scouts to assist those involved in water accidents.
"I'm willing to bet, that there is no way that he thought two years later he would actually put that [training] to use," said Sneed.
The ‘Honor Medal with crossed palms’ is given to a scout or scout leader in exceptional cases of unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save life at extreme risk to self.
"You are truly special," said Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, commanding general of Marine Corps Installation West - Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. "I expect big things from you and I really look forward to watching your career [unfold]," he said, referring to an earlier comment about Stotts' future in the Marine Corps.
This fall, Stotts is scheduled to attend Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Southern California.