Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:April 8th, 2009 12:33 EST
Dress Blue Uniform

U.S. Marine Petitions School Board for Permission to Graduate From High School in His Dress Blue Uniform

By Philip Lawrence

An eighteen-year-old U.S. Marine in El Paso, Texas has petitioned the local school board for permission to graduate from high school in his dress blue uniform rather than wear the traditional cap and gown.  At the time he joined and completed boot camp, he had not graduated but has since met all the requirements for his diploma and the school board is considering his request. 

As one might expect, people have lined up on both sides of the issue, pitting pride and support for the military against the need for uniformity at the graduation and the deluge of other special requests that will likely follow if an exception is carved out for this young man.

This author believes he should wear the graduation cap and wear the gown over his dress blue uniform during the ceremony just as others will be wearing suits, dresses or whatever young people wear these days at such events.  While the neckties of his male counter parts can be seen in the v-neck graduation gowns, this young man`s high collar and Marine emblems (the eagle, globe and anchor) can be seen in his v-neck gown.  After the ceremony, he can remove his gown and don his black and white Marine cover - the naval term for a hat - and strut around in his blues "til his heart`s content. 

It may do more harm than good to the reputation of the military by creating a controversy in this community.  And as the gap continues to widen between members of the military and civilians, I feel that those who serve - and those of us who have served - are in the best position to shrink this gap and reach out to those we`ve sworn to defend.