Newly-minted U.S. Marine turned away from high school graduation ceremony for wearing his uniform

A U.S. Marine was denied the opportunity to participate in his Indiana high school’s graduation ceremony this week — because he proudly wore dress blues for the occasion.

Although administrators at Crown Point High School, located 45 miles south of Chicago, told PFC. Jacob Stanley that he was required to show up for his class of 2017 graduation ceremony in the standard cap and gown, he showed up in his dress uniform instead.

And who can blame him? In the words of the Corps’ recruiting slogan, he was a newly-minted member of “The few and the proud.”

The decision has since created a storm of commentary on social media — mostly directed against the school, Chicago NBC affiliate Channel 5 News reported.

“I don’t want the social media controversy that is drawing attention away from the Class of 2017,” Stanley said in a statement issued by the 9th Marine Corps District, Naval Station Great Lakes. “I also do not want to make any additional statements and wish to put this all behind me so I can start my career in the Marine Corps.”

Principal Chip Pettit told the station that the school’s strict adherence to its cap and gown policy shouldn’t be taken as a sign of contempt to Stanley’s accomplishment.

“This tradition is not intended to be disrespectful to students, parents, or our community, but as a source of pride for our students,” Pettit said. “It is also not intended to be disrespectful to our students choosing to serve in the military, our active duty servicemen and women, and our veterans.”

Other area high schools have more relaxed standards. In neighboring Hobart High, another new Marine was permitted to wear his uniform in the June 1 ceremony in lieu of the cap and gown.

Marine Corps Recruiting Station Indianapolis marketing and public affairs representative Tyler Mitchell said that while he understands Stanley’s pride for the uniform, he also realizes that different schools have different policies.

“We also recognize that there are policies in place which outline graduation dress codes and the appropriate wear of Marine Corps uniforms when in public,” Mitchell said in a statement. “As high school graduations recognize the academic accomplishments of the class and the class’s final chapter at that institution, the decision to allow individuals to wear uniforms during graduations is at the discretion of the school.”

Clip via NBC 5 Chicago

People on social media were ready to attack the school in Stanley’s support.

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Pettit reiterated that his adherence to the rules was merely a policy matter having nothing to do with the young Marine’s service.

“We are forever grateful for the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis for our freedom,” he said.

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