SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Retired Lt. General Scott Rice of Southampton received a Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Association of the United States on Saturday.

This award is given to Eagle Scouts who achieve extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or eminence within their profession and have a strong record of voluntary service to their community.

Lt. Gen. Rice is only the third Distinguished Eagle Scout Award recipient from the Boy Scouts of America Western Mass. Council. This is the highest honor for Eagle Scouts. Of around 2.7 million eagle scouts, only 2,000 have received this award.

He was given the award at a reception in Springfield and told 22News the difference his scout leader made in his life.

“He settled me down, and gave me real depth to some words like honor, integrity, service to others. Where I was a real wise guy for a while, but he brought me to a place where if you take care of people they will take care of you. And I carried that type of honor, integrity and respect for others through the whole career that I’ve had in the air force, in the military, flying for United Airlines and doing all this scout businesses,” expressed retired Lt. General Scott Rice.

The only other two western Massachusetts recipients include Presley Blake, founder of Friendly’s Ice Cream, and Denis Gagnon, president of Excel Dryer, who was also in attendance Saturday evening.

Alanna Flood is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Alanna on X @alannafloodnews and view her bio to see more of her work.