Marine Pfc. Garrett Miles-McCarthy graduated from boot camp in San Diego only last month, but he is already in his first battle: against his hometown school board.
The 18-year-old wants to wear his dress blues uniform at his high school graduation ceremony in El Paso.
Miles-McCarthy finished his course work in December and immediately shipped out to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
School officials have said all graduates have to wear cap and gown, with no exceptions.
The mayor, a local congressman and others are backing Miles-McCarthy, who says that wearing the uniform will show his pride in being a Marine and demonstrate his support for his father, a career soldier bound for Iraq.
The school board will take up the issue Tuesday, the same day Miles-McCarthy is set to return to duty for advance training.