Disclaimer: Terminal Lance is in no way sponsored nor endorsed by the United States Marine Corps or any other branch of the US Armed Services. All opinions and properties belong solely to the creator and no one else.
Terminal Lance is a comic created by myself, Lance Corporal Maximilian Uriarte, USMC. The idea behind Terminal Lance is to poke fun at the Marine Corps with an emphasis on the grunt Lance Corporal’s point of view. As an 0351, this is a point of view I’m very familiar with.
While Terminal Lance has featured a few unnamed recurring characters, the two main protagonists of the series are Abe and Garcia.
Abe is dark haired and has been the central character since the first strip. Garcia made his first appearance in Terminal Lance #93 “POG’s Impressing the Grunts”. Abe and Garcia met shortly after entering the fleet. Abe is an 0351 Assaultman, and has been a Lance Corporal for what seems like as long as he can remember. While Garcia is actually an 0331 Machinegunner, he was moved to the Assault section when he arrived in the fleet due to ‘Guns’ being overfilled.
Abe’s actual name is Lance Corporal Abraham Belatzeko, but when he arrived in the fleet, his name was found too hard to pronounce by his seniors. When asked his first name, he replied, “Abe”, and his seniors gave him the nickname of his own name. He is largely known throughout the company as simply “Abe”–people as high up as the Company First Sergeant have given up on using his last name.
Lance Corporal Garcia’s last name is Garcia. He is known throughout the company as Garcia.
Abe is notably more disgruntled than Garcia. Garcia is the kind of guy that goes along with whatever is in front of him. He sees the bullshit and it occasionally pisses him off, but he regards it as a reality of the Marine Corps. Garcia comes from a very poor background, and to him the Marine Corps was a way out of poverty. Abe is primarily from a lower-middle class background on the west coast, the Marine Corps may or may not have been the best choice for him, but with a high GT score and other talents to claim, he counts the days til his EAS to move on to something greater. Abe realizes he’s probably going to be a Terminal Lance, and is proud.
My name is Max, I was an 0351 Assaultman stationed in Hawaii. I’ve been to Iraq twice, first as a turret gunner of an MRAP in 2007-2008 in the Zaidon region. My second deployment in 2009, my artistic talents brought me to the world of Combat Art and Combat Photography. I worked with our ComCam shop for the entire deployment and got to travel all over Iraq shooting photos and sketching Marines at work. Aside from that, in my 4 years in the Corps I’ve been a SMAW Gunner, Team Leader, Squad Leader, .50Cal Gunner, Combat Photographer, and a Combat Artist.
I have since moved on, I EAS’d in May of 2010 and am currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. I recently received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation at the California College of the Arts in Oakland and am seeking to make a career out of animating and storyboarding.
The term “Terminal Lance” comes from a phenomena common to the Marine Corps infantry: the inability to pick up Corporal, sometimes due to a number of things–sometimes not. In my case, as an 0351, my MOS’ cutting score is beyond ridiculous when it’s not closed. In the mid-to-upper 1700’s, someone like me who has done a number of noteworthy jobs and never been in any kind of NJP (Non-Judicial Punishment) situations, it’s just a matter of cutting score.
For those of you who don’t know what a cutting score is, it’s a broken system of numbers that the Marine Corps uses to promote people. It’s a value based on your physical performance, rifle score and other factors like time in service. Outside of the infantry, people are usually promoted around 1500. The score to promotion is determined by the number of active corporals in relation to the MOS. i.e.: you can only have so many corporals per MOS.
This project has been a long time in the making. I thought of the concept a couple of years ago but hadn’t had a chance to sit down and do it until now.
I hope the Marines reading this appreciate the humor and where I’m coming from. If you’re not a Marine and you’re still reading this, good job! Most of the terminology in this comic is derived from the Marine Corps, so good luck deciphering it.
Comic updates are scheduled for Tuesdays and Fridays.