CPA Press Release
Contact: Chip Beck (914 822 5386)
February 28th 2004
IRAQI SCOUT INITIATIVE
28 FEB Baghdad, Iraq -- Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional
Authority (CPA) Administrator in Baghdad, approved public diplomacy support for
a new initiative to establish an Iraqi Boy Scout and Girl Scout program with the
backing of the World Scouting Organization (WSO) and Arab Scout Organization (ASO).
The initiative to formally create an “Iraqi Scouts” organization, along the
lines of professional national Scouting programs worldwide, came about through
the formation of an energetic network of volunteer Scouters and adult Eagle
Scouts currently serving in the “Green Zone” of Baghdad, various regions of Iraq
and a vast group of Stateside, Regional and World Scouters who are ready to
enthusiastically support this historic effort.
The Iraqi Scouts Initiative committee is being led by Co-Chairmen Chip Beck
(Baghdad, Iraq) and Michael Bradle (Lampasas, Texas). Mike Bradle (39) is an
Eagle Scout and Texas businessman with extensive national Scouting connections
who is organizing U.S. and international donor and fund-raising support for the
program. Chip Beck (58) is a retired Navy Commander and Assistant Commissioner
for Venture Scouting in the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of Washington
D.C. who is serving a 6 month CPA tour of duty in Iraq.
Beck and a cadre of 100 experienced multinational Scouters informally
established the “Green Zone Council” of Scouting in February as a loose
fraternal organization for fellow Scouters serving in Iraq. Through various
Scouting networks, the “GZC” as it is called, came to the attention of Bradle
and his corporation, who offered their full support, suggesting both groups work
to formally re-establish a legal, recognized, and fully functioning Scouting
program in Iraq.
The Scout program will be open to boys and girls of all ethnic and cultural
backgrounds, and will allow for local nuances to shape various regional program
An immediate goal is to identify Iraqi adult leaders, youths, and community
supporters to be recruited and trained in all aspects of a professional and
volunteer Scouting organization. The Co-Chairmen have set a goal of establishing
a national Scouting program with a minimum of 10,000 Iraqi Scouts, with Troops
or Crews in all 18 Iraqi provinces, and regional Councils in the north, central,
south-central, southern, and Baghdad areas of Iraq.
A National Iraqi Scouting Headquarters is envisioned for Baghdad as well. Five
national Scout camps in the various mountain, lakes, desert, marsh, and “fertile
crescent” areas of the country are also under consideration, with Iraq-based
Scouters beginning to survey suitable terrain and facilities in conjunction with
various Iraqi regional and community leaders.
Scouting is not new to the Middle East or even Iraq, where Scouting was first
introduced in 1921, but was later expelled from the WSO during the Saddam era.
As a people-to-people example of “public diplomacy,” Bradle and Beck hope to
solicit funding and professional training support from active Scouters in
countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States.
The Iraqi Scouting Initiative is viewed as an opportunity to create a positive
atmosphere and sense of national unity among Iraqi youth, parents, and community
leaders from all parts of the country. Universal values of good citizenship,
community service, individual honor and self-confidence are natural products of
For more information, contact:
POC IRAQ: Co-Chairman Chip Beck, 914-822-5386
POC U.S.: Co-Chairman Mike Bradle, 512-556-4100