RALEIGH, North Carolina – A North Carolina-based Marine was ordered Tuesday to stop an online auction in which he promised to legally change his name to whatever the highest bidder wanted it to be.
Sgt. Cody Baker, 29, could have become "Mr. Clean" or even "Finest Freshest Fastest," but he was told the auction violated military rules against commercial endorsements, said Camp Lejeune spokesman Lt. Col. Curtis Hill.
"Completion of this auction would be a commercial advertising slogan on Baker's uniform, which would create the appearance of the Department of Defense endorsing that entity," Hill said.
The highest bid had reached $30,000.01, offered by the Web site www.FreebieStore.com.
Baker had said he wanted to raise money for college, support his wife and infant son, and help an orphanage in Thailand for children affected by AIDS.
The auction, on Baker's personal Web site, started July 20 with a $5 bid to name him "Mr. Clean." Other bids wanted Baker to change his name to "George Bailey of Bedford Falls" and "Mr. Right."
An online coffee company bid $26,333.31 to have Baker's military name tape carry its slogan: "Finest Freshest Fastest."
Baker has since informed bidders in a message on his Web site that the auction violated federal regulations.
"Therefore, the auction of my naming rights ends at this moment," Baker wrote. "Thank you all for your support and encouragement along the way. It was a fun ride."
Baker had been stationed with the 1st Marine Air Wing in Okinawa, Japan, but was recently transferred to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group at Camp Lejeune, a coastal Marine base in North Carolina.