Anthony Bauswell, a teen from Greenbrier, Arkansas, was disqualified from joining the Marine Corps over a tattoo. While the Marine Corps is known for its strict policy against visible tattoos, Bauswell was rejected for his tattoo’s content, not its location.
Like most country boys his age, Bauswell enjoys hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors. “I got a browning buck right there,” Bauswell said in an interview with local NBC affiliate KARK 4 News. While the buck wasn’t a problem, the Conway Marine recruiting center said the 18-year-old was immediately disqualified when he revealed a confederate flag tattooed on his ribs. “There’s the tattoo it clearly states southern pride,” Bauswell said while showing his inked chest.
Bauswell’s flag violated the Marine Corps Tattoo Policy Maradmin 198-07, which states, “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 included tattoos associated with illegal drugs, drug usage, or parapherlia, are prohibited.”
“As soon as I said rebel flag on my ribs, he says DQ, just automatically, DQ,” said Bauswell “I felt pretty low. My own government wasn’t going to let me serve my country because of the ink on my skin.”
The young man says he understands the controversial nature of the Confederate Battle Flag, but he doesn’t want to be branded a racist for it. “I definitely don’t want it to be seen as racism, which is 99% of the reason I got southern pride on it,” he said.
What are your thoughts about the United States Marine Corps tattoo policy?
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