In Greenbrier, Arkansas, a young man stated that he missed his chance of a military career because of his tattoo.
Anthony Bauswell, an 18-year-old Greenbrier local, was covered in camouflage during the interview. He stated that he liked hunting, fishing, and the outdoors, and that his tattoos were just an expression of how proud he is of his upbringing.
“I got a browning buck right there,” he stated.
He said that he went into the Conway Marine recruitment center to enlist, as a way to show how proud he was to be in this country.
However, the enlistment process came to an abrupt stop when he revealed a particular tattoo.
When asked about the tattoo – which features a confederate flag with the words “southern pride” – he stated: “There’s the tattoo it clearly states southern pride.”
He revealed that this tattoo was the reason his enlisting process was stopped.
He said, “As soon as I said rebel flag on my ribs, he says DQ, just automatically, DQ.”
The recruiter informed him that the tattoo disqualified him from serving in the marines.
“I felt pretty low. My own government wasn’t going to let me serve my country because of the ink on my skin,’ he said.
When Fox16 tried to reach out to the recruiting center on Wednesday, they found it was closed.
The marine corps tattoo policy reads in part: “Tattoos/brands that are sexist (express nudity), racist, eccentric or offensive in nature, express an association with conduct or substances prohibited by the Marine Corps drug policy and the uniform code of military justice (UCMJ), to include tattoos associated with illegal drugs, drug usage, or paraphernalia, are prohibited.”
Bauswell, a recent high school graduate, stated that he did understand the stigma associated with the confederate flag.
“I definitely don’t want it to be seen as racism, which is 99% of the reason I got southern pride on it,” he stated.
He expressed his hope that the pride he had for his country would be expressed in service, and not just remain on his skin.
On some websites, there is a Marine Corps tattoo poster that states: “Think before you ink.”