For Anthony Bauswelll, all he wanted to do was be in the Marines.
At 18 years old, Bauswell had a plan: to serve his country as long as he could.
But when the teen says the recruiter immediately DQ'd (disqualified) him.
"DQ, just automatically DQ," said Basuwell. "I felt pretty low. My own government wasn't going to let me serve my country because of the ink on my skin."
So what's the big deal about a tattoo? Many soldiers have them right? Right.
But there was something specific about Anthony Bauswell's tattoo that disqualified him.
The confederate flag.
The Marine Corps Recruiting Command has a strict tattoo policy that states tattoos "sexist, racist, eccentric, or offensive in nature" are prohibited. According to the USMC, thhe Confederate flag represents a time when slavery was applauded, making it racist.
57% of Americans feel the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride rather than a symbol of racism. But, 72% of African-Americans polled said the flag is racist.
"I definitely don't want it to be seen as racism, which is 99% of the reason I got southern pride on it," Bauswell said.
The Marine Corps is expected to make it more clear in its tattoo policy so people know exactly what is and is not allowed.
"Having talked to them, I don’t think most Marines understand what the policy is," Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said. "I don’t think they understand what they can do. They just know they can’t get a sleeve.”
As for Anthony Bauswell, the update won't help him...and now he's left in limbo.
"I kind of felt like I had a plan for my life, and now that I can't go, I am not sure where I stand," he said.
Do you think the USMC was right to ban Bauwell from the Marines? Let us know.