The nickname is not a racist statement or term, nor is it intended to belittle the high ideals of our nation or Scouting, even though one Council Scout Executive found it "offensive". He never asked what the meaning behind it was. My nickname is due to these facts:
- The first Boy Scout Patrol I belonged to was the Eagle Patrol, Troop 63, Ludwigsburg, Germany. As all old-timers associated with Scouting will share, the emblem for that patrol was a black eagle on a red background with black lettering "BSA" and border, as shown here...
- The "state bird" of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the name of the first Order of the
Arrow (OA) Lodge I was elected to is called the Black Eagle. It was also this same Lodge
which officially gave me the "title" "Sekkettummanque" during an Order of the Arrow conclave in
1986, to honor my service to camping and international Scouting while a member of the Lodge. The
title in the language of the Delaware Indian, means "black eagle" ("sekkettum"= black +"manque"= eagle).
I shortened it in 1988 to "settummanque" (by removing the two "ks" and a "u") in order to meet the 15-character limit for names associated with Eastern Kentucky University's VMS email accounts....
- Three times --once as a youth and twice as an adult-- I was honored with the highest award that the
Commonwealth of Kentucky can bestow on anyone. This honor is in the form of a commission, signed by
the Governor appointing me (and others) as a "Kentucky Colonel" and a member of the Governor's staff.
Other prominent Kentuckians -- state legislators, former Governors, businesspeople-- have received this
honor because of their service in the state. Among those Kentuckians recieving this honor is the man whom
introduced me to national Scouting service and who recieved the BSA's Silver Buffalo Award (the highest
service award given by the BSA), John T. Acree Sr.
Other Kentucky Colonels include Bob Hope, Harlan Sanders, Richard Dawson, Lily Tomlin, Lee Majors, and retired General Donn A. Starry (who, when he was Commanding General of Fort Knox, was unable to be at my Eagle Court of Honor due to the extreme illness of his daughter (and class/workmate) Melanie but later invited me to spend the entire afternoon and to have dinner with his family at Quarters One)....
- As a youth, I served as the second Commander of the Fort Knox Junior Military Police Association (FKJMPA), which later became Explorer Post 233 (Fort Knox Junior MPs). The Commander's rank insignia is the same as the cadet rank of Colonel. For those not familiar with military rank or insignia, the rank of Colonel (or Captain in the Navy and Coast Guard) comes in the form of a black eagle, to be worn on field uniforms and other non-formal clothing.
- Fort Knox High School's mascot is that of the eagle; the Rose Terrace Military Community, where I consider my hometown, where I voted for the first time in my life, and where I served as one of the first members of the Community Council (as well as Vice Mayor from 1974-75), has a flag with a black eagle flying, holding five roses in his talons and a banner in his beak....
- The black eagle is a direct connection to my military service as well as that of my father and his father, whom both served the United States well in roles as members of the United States Army. The emblem serves as a symbol of leadership as well as a symbol of command. It is my personal goal to attain the military rank of Colonel by the time of my mandatory retirement from the US Army. I first started using the nickname "blackeagle" during the Citizen's Band (CB) craze (and I still have a CB license (KSK4410, Kentucky Blackeagle)). I kind of forgotten about those days while I was serving as part of the public affairs staff at Eagle Base (another reference, purely by accident -- Eagle Base was the largest military compound in Bosnia back in the day) and after a press event, a reporter from the Associated Press came over to me and asked for the spelling of my name and asked me "what's my handle?"
I had to think a bit to process what he was asking me (I just became Major a few months beforehand, so I was still working through being called "Major Walton" as opposed to "Captain Walton") and I asked for some clarification. The reporter explained that he had spent the early part of the day down the road with a combat unit, and in those units all of the key officers and non-commissioned officers had a "nickname" or "handle" that they used. Even had it stenciled on their vehicles.
"So what's yours?" he asked me.
I explained that my friends call me "Mike" and...oh yeah, my Scouting friends call me "blackeagle". And from that time, it stuck.
I continue to use it in my dealings as communicator, spokesman and positive Black role model for Scouting and the military. I also use it to close out my postings to various Scouting and military-related Internet discussion groups.