If someone wants to volunteer to help defend the country, should it really matter that they have a tattoo some people think is politically incorrect?
The Daily Mail reports:
Arkansas teen says he was turned away from Marines because of his Confederate flag tattoo
An Arkansas teen said he was turned away from joining the Marines when he revealed he had a Confederate flag tattoo.
Anthony Bauswell, 18, has the rebel flag inked on his rib, with the words ‘Southern Pride’ emblazoned underneath.
Bauswell was in the process of enlisting at the Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Conway on Monday when the recruiter said it made him ineligible.
‘He says DQ, just automatically, DQ,’ Bauswell told KARK 4.
While each branch of the military has its own specific rules, the prohibition of racist, extremist or gang-related tattoos is all-encompassing.
Bauswell said ’99 percent of the reason’ why he got ‘Southern Pride’ in addition to the flag was because he did not want the tattoo to be seen as racist.
‘I felt pretty low,’ he said. ‘My own government wasn’t going to let me serve my country because of the ink on my skin.’
Tattoos have long been restricted in the military, although recently the Marines have made effort to loosen the rules.
As of their policy in 2010, officers could only have four tattoos visible when wearing the shorts and t-shirt required for the physical training uniform, according to Time.
Enlisted Marines also could not have tattoos on their hands, fingers, wrists, inside their mouths, and no visible tattoo could be larger than a fist.
This just seems silly.