A merit badge was an award by the Boy Scouts for achievements in certain fields of study.
In 2152, he compared the forest of a rogue planet to that in which he gained his badge, also mentioning that he had gained twenty-six badges in total, though Lieutenant Malcolm Reed replied he had gained twenty-eight. Later, startled by a strange creature, Archer remarked that they would earn their exobiology badges if they encountered any more. Reed replied that he already had earned it before. (ENT: "Rogue Planet")