Two US Marines fresh out of boot camp were chastised for wearing their dress uniforms during their Michigan high school commencement speech.
USMC spokesman 1LT William Tunney said that Marshall High School graduates as PFC Willie Couch and PFC Samuel Hackworth did not wear caps and gowns for the Marshall Public School ceremony, despite a “clearly communicated” requirement to do so.
The Marines’ families were told the two recently-enlisted boot camp graduates were not allowed to wear their uniforms at graduation, with the principal offering to provide special cords, notation in the commencement program and the courtesy of being addressed by rank.
“The families disagreed, and declined. The Principal (sic) still arranged for all three things to be done in case the two graduates changed their minds. The Board of Education thought this was a very good compromise,” Superintendent Randy Davis said.
The principal and a school board member expressed their disappointment that the two Marines decided to follow their “own program,” resulting in public backlash.
“Both were simply addressing the two graduates’ decision to not follow the rules for commencement. Neither intended, nor acted, to disrespect these two young men for their honorable service in the Marines,” Davis stated.
According to WNCT, the two recruits graduated from training last Friday, attended the graduation on Sunday and haven’t even reported to infantry school yet.
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