In all fairness, the chow hall Thanksgiving is as good as chow hall Thanksgiving can get.

I’ve spent Thanksgiving both in Iraq and Anderson Hall aboard MCBH Kaneohe Bay, the food really isn’t that bad if you ignore the lingering taste of depression and homesick. But of course, like anything else, Thanksgiving is what you make of it. Sure, maybe you’re stuck on base and can’t enjoy it with your family, but I’m sure there’s plenty of Marines stuck in the same boat as you. Being miserable together is what brings Marines closer to each other. Yeah, shit sucks, but at least it’s shitty together.

That last point might sound kind of corny, but it actually is true. Your platoon is your new family, and even if you can’t spend Thanksgiving with your old family, you’ve still got your new one. Besides, everyone knows going on leave gets old after a few days anyway, when you find yourself strangely wanting to go back instead of fielding off stupid questions and being continually disappointed with life back home.

When I was making this comic, I had a lot of trouble finding a reference image for chow hall Marine uniforms. You guys have like ten different shirts and none of them seem to be consistent. All I know is you chow hall guys get that baller ass gold rank.

It’s a little bit late today for the new comic, but I’ve just been so distracted by the recent news events. You know what I’m talking about… the one that has everyone freaking out. Trust me, I was floored and a little angry when I found out too, but I remain optimistic that good will come of it.¬†That’s right… they released the new Jurassic World trailer.

To this day, Jurassic Park remains in my top 3 films of all time. Watching it again recently, I still find the film amazingly well-made and still able to stand the test of time over 20 years later. I’m not sure if I get the same impression from Jurassic World, but it certainly looks worth watching.

 

I was thinking to myself: what kind of person becomes an MP (Military Police)? It has to be someone that wants to join the Marine Corps, but also just kind of doesn’t actually like Marines. There’s a dubious double standard for MP’s in terms of perception amongst the average populace. On one hand, Marines do stupid shit and the base needs a police force like any other town. On the other, being an MP automatically makes you a blue falcon since you kind of have to be the guy that gets Marines in trouble every day. There’s really no winning here.

Of course, the MP field is pretty big, not all of them are pulling you over for going 30 in a 25 zone on base (the whole base, really). In all honestly I would consider being an MP if I knew I could be a dog handler, because that’s a fucking awesome job. I remember traveling with a dog handler and his dog during my 2nd deployment to Iraq from al Asad to COP Heider up on the Syrian border. I recall looking at them with immense jealousy, because I wished I could hang out with a dog all day.

My only other real experience with MP’s was when I got pulled over once on base, but it was totally my fault. There’s a stretch on MCBH Kaneohe Bay that goes into the base housing area, the speed limit is 25 MPH but it’s just one long straight away. Of course, I took a liberty with this and was doing something like 37 down the straightaway, not realizing there was an MP behind me. He pulled my dumb ass over and gave me a warning since it was my first offense, which I am grateful for since I obviously knew I was speeding.

In any case, I’m not one of those idiots that decries the police in a general sense. In my general experience, people that have a problem with police are people that often do stupid shit. Here’s an idea: maybe you wouldn’t have a problem with cops busting your shit if you didn’t do dumb shit worth busting you over.

“We live in a police state!”

No we don’t, you’re just a fucking ass.

There was a bit of commotion over a Marine Corps Times article regarding the age old debate of POG’s vs Grunts on Monday. The article presents the case that maybe POG’s shouldn’t be made fun of and called POG’s. Hilarity ensued online and across the Corps as people reacted in ways ranging from “who cares?” to “stop being a pussy.”

I am an 0351 by MOS but spent some significant time with Combat Camera during my 2nd deployment to Iraq. As someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I can confidently say that no one actually gives a shit that you’re a POG. Like really, no one does. However, it is a simple fact that POG’s actually generally do have it better than the average grunt. This isn’t really a matter of opinion, it’s just true. Smaller unit sizes, regular work hours, more time in the rear–all of these things add up to a generally less-miserable existence than anyone with an 03 moniker in their title.

They are truly two entirely different cultures; in fact, I would argue that there’s basically three different primary Marine Corps cultures that are largely segregated from each other:

  • Infantry
  • POGside
  • Air Wing

Technically the Wing is still POG, but because the day to day is still vastly different than the regular POGside, it is really its own thing. For clarification (and this seems to be confusing for some people), the definition of a “Grunt” is “infantry,” and you’re not infantry unless your MOS starts with “03.” It really is that simple. Being a POG isn’t a matter of opinion, it simply means that your MOS doesn’t start with “03.”

Semantics aside, something should be abundantly clear here: there’s nothing wrong with being a POG (Person Other-than Grunt). Seriously. No one cares. The only time it’s a problem is when they either get super butt hurt about grunts not respecting them (this article) or when they make vast claims that their job is worse or that being a POG makes them inherently smarter.

The Marine Corps is a big place and has a lot of different roles to fill. Whatever it is you do, just own it. You’re a POG? Be proud to be a POG! Some POG jobs are actually pretty cool. If yours is not, just admit it. For instance (totally random example), there is literally no part about being an 1171 Water Dog that is badass, so don’t try to spin it that way, just own the fact that your job is lame as shit and that you have a small penis.

Regardless of what I say here, the dichotomy of grunts and POGs is probably never going to go away. Marines are a proud people, and the infantry even prouder. If you’re a POG, don’t get so worked up over it. No one actually cares.

Today is Veteran’s Day and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to cash in on the free food being given out by various restaurants around the country. This year, moreso than the last couple of years, I’ve seen an increase in self-righteousness at the subject of getting freebies from these places.

“I don’t feel like I need anyone to thank me with free stuff,” they say.

Neither do I, but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna stuff my fat face with free food. I’m not suggesting you all should be like Abe here and make entitled demands, but I’m certainly not going to feel bad about indulging in some gracious offerings when it is presented. I’ve never met a real Marine that turns down free food, and frankly I don’t want to. These are big companies throwing out a deal to get you to come in with your friends and ultimately still spend money. So if you’re a veteran, get out there and enjoy it–because why the fuck not?

At the very least, just make sure you tip your server.

Happy Veteran’s Day everyone.

Well it’s that time of year again. The time when you dust off your old Dress Blue jacket and realize you still have PFC rank on it from boot camp, so you try to rush it to the base tailor at the last minute where the angry Asian lady tells you it won’t be ready in time; so you harass your platoon mates and boots to see if anyone has an extra Dress Blue jacket that you can borrow… and maybe a pair of corframs too.

Okay so maybe all of that won’t happen, but I promise you it will for at least one of you reading this. Some of you have probably already had your birthday balls since they vary in time, but I’m guessing most of you will be going this weekend as the actual date of the Marine Corps’ 239th birthday approaches this Monday. This time of year is always extremely motivated, with the Marine Corps birthday and Veteran’s Day happening in direct sequence with one another.

I’m sure, in addition to busy taxis this weekend, doctor’s offices will be flooded on Wednesday with Staff NCO’s complaining of longstanding erections.

Anyway, I don’t have much else for you, other than have a fun time this weekend and be sure to post your best ball photos on the Terminal Lance Facebook Page. (You can always message or email them to me if you wish to remain anonymous.)

On a side note, I’m contemplating some changes to the site in the near future. It’s a bit too soon to really say anything about it, but more content could be coming… You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what.

*On another random note, I just want to give a shout out to my old friend and squadmate Bill, who I borrowed this alphabet soup line from.

Oh yes he did. Your ass just got sent to Twentynine Palms. There isn’t any kind of mixup, no one made a mistake, you’re going to the desert and you’re going to like it.

This is essentially exactly how it went down for me when I was leaving SOI West. I’ve heard legends and tales about POG’s getting some kind of wishlist and being sent where they request to be stationed after MOS school, but as a grunt you get no such luxury. I’m not sure how true the wishlist is, but I can tell you with utmost certainty that no one asked me where I wanted to be stationed.

Luckily for me, in this story, I was the Assaultman going to Hawaii.

Our Mortarmen weren’t so lucky though, as they were sent to 2/7 (if I recall correctly) out in Satan’s Taint beautiful Twentynine Palms, California. It’s an undoubtedly undesirable fate, but one that many Marines are given. Hell, I only spent two Mojave Vipers there and I’d be happy never going back. I did actually return for a day a couple years back when my first book came out, but it certainly wasn’t something I would recommend to anyone not forced to go there.

Admittedly, the new PX is a lot nicer, as I have a documented weakness for Starbucks.

I thought about doing a strip today about the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but at the same time I haven’t actually played it yet. With all the media coverage surrounding the “Quick Time Event Funeral” scene in the game, it seemed like a ripe material for the making-fun-of. However, being the objective person I am, I figured I’d at least give it a shot before I shoot it down (huh?).

Though I’m admittedly swamped with working on The White Donkey, I might take some time later tonight to live broadcast the game on my Twitch channel if I decide to go pick it up. Maybe Friday’s strip will be reserved for making fun of the game after I actually play it.

I’ve said it before, but Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. This probably has to do with the fact that my birthday is also in October, but I love the festivities of Halloween more than most holidays. Instead of awkward gatherings with family, you dress up as whatever the fuck you want and do fun shit all night.

As far as terrifying costumes go, can you imagine anything more terrifying than a pissed off Gunny?

I had a bunch of ideas going through my head as to what I wanted to dress up Abe as, but had a lot of trouble deciding on anything. My first thought was actually to make him a pack of “Charms,” since that would undoubtedly be terrifying for a Marine–but then I remembered that Charms haven’t actually been in MRE’s for many years and that it was a somewhat outdated reference. In any case, I always love seeing Marines get into stupid things like this. Despite popular belief (by civilians and even many Marines), Marines are actually people too, and can often engage in activities that don’t directly relate to looking like a badass all the time.

3/3 India getting into the spirit!

3/3 India getting into the spirit!

For your weekend liberty brief:

  • Don’t fuck anything you’re not supposed to.
  • Don’t drive anything while drunk.
  • Don’t eat anything off the floor.
  • Don’t fight the locals.

Otherwise, have a Happy Halloween!

Also, don’t forget to follow the official Terminal Lance Facebook page and my official Twitter account.

Well it’s official, Marines have ended operations in Afghanistan and handed the base over to the Afghan National Security Forces. With the combat operations in Afghanistan drawing to a close, it’s hard not to feel sorry for poor Jody as he realizes that he’s not going to have nearly as much time with your girl.

He’s harmless though, really, he’s just a friend. Sure he’s funny, smarter than you, has rich parents and a 9 inch penis, but you didn’t have anything to worry about anyway. He’s just a coworker, or a classmate, or a friend from high school with unclear motives–you’re the only person she cares about and that’s all you need to know.¬†Either way, Jody’s late night movie sessions are over for the time being, just don’t check her Facebook messages and you’re good to go.

On a more serious note, the end of Marine operations in Afghanistan is a pretty big deal. It’s been a long time coming, and a lot of tremendously brave Marines not only fought, but gave their lives for the mission of Operation Enduring Freedom. I believe, however, there’s somewhat of an uneasy aura about the move with things heating up in Iraq again. It is as if we just went through this same thing in Iraq not long ago, and we can only hope and pray that Afghanistan can hold its own–on its own.

Hope and pray.

There isn’t much worse for a grunt than having to let the Platoon Commander tag along during a field op or a range. Generally, field ops and ranges are fairly hands-off. The Platoon Commander stays in the COC (the ‘Cock,’ as its known) and the squads are left to do their business on their own. Obviously not all Lieutenants are boots, but no one likes to babysit; or especially be babysat.

Still, there’s not really any stopping it. If the LT wants to join you, he will. Maybe he just wants to see something cool like rockets being fired (if you’re an 0351), or he wants to get a feel for how his platoon is operating. Eventually, he will tag along and it will be miserable.

Flashback to PTA on the Big Island, running the large platoon-sized attack range with fully operational SMAW firing. Not only our Platoon Commander, but the Company CO himself decided to tag along with one of the Assault sections to see the climactic SMAW shot on the objective. Apparently not fully understanding the functionality of the SMAW, our CO found himself in the largely inconvenient position of being directly within the backblast radius of the weapon, to which our section leader at the time had to violently pull him to the ground before the rocket did it for him. This obviously isn’t to say that officers are inept, but rather that they simply aren’t fluent in the small-unit operations of each squad or section, and can find themselves in precarious situations simply because they aren’t familiar with the way each team works.

But anyway, it’s just a rant. In the end, no one likes it when their boss is standing over them while they work, no matter who you work for.

In other news, I just want to give a shout out to Saul Elbein for writing his small piece on me in the Men’s Journal this month. If you haven’t had a chance, go check it out! It should be on shelves now, it’s the one with Jimmy Fallon on the cover. On another random note, I noticed a lot more really fucking weird people on the FB page lately. I suppose any publicity has the potential to attract good and bad attention, but I prefer to keep things on the lighter side.

Terminal Lance is fundamentally about having a good laugh, so lets keep it that way.

Skating in the Marine Corps is an art that not everyone is fluent in. It’s not just about making excuses, it’s about bullshitting so hard that not even you are sure it’s a lie.

I feel like my own MOS of 0351 Assaultman is especially adept at the art form, as we’re an MOS that neither stands out as being particularly important but above the general 0311 populace. With a spot firmly in the back of Weapons Platoon during formations, it becomes easy to “fly under the radar,” as the general skill set of demolitions and shooting rockets doesn’t really lend itself to daily activities. It can be a double-edged sword, however, as I was simply turned into a turret gunner during my first deployment since no one was using 0351′s to their extent at the time.

I will concede, however, that the 0341 Mortarman might actually be a top-tier skater as well. Often times on major, integrated field ops like Mojave Viper or some such, the mortars will simply disappear somewhere for days at a time. No one is really sure what they’re actually doing, but it probably involves large amounts of playing Spades.

As for the late update today, I’m running into some awful issues with Photoshop ever since the newest WACOM driver update. Drawing this strip was a massive chore as my linework was shakier than a crack head’s (presumably while on crack).

On a random note, does anyone else think Gen. Dunford looks like your best friend’s dad that you’re just a little scared of? (It’s like, you know he’s not going to hit you, but he might.)

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