Terminal Lance #492 “All Your Base: Camp Lejeune”

September 15, 2017

Twentynine Palms is an easy target when it comes to describing somewhere miserable. However, this isn’t to say that there aren’t other places in the Corps equally as miserable, it’s just that some are more subtle about it than others. In the words of the great Michael Caine:

“I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible.”

Camp Lejeune remains one of the only bases I’ve never visited, but I’ve heard that Jacksonville puts the township of Twentynine Palms to shame when counting meth addicts per capita. Every base has some miserable little town outside of it that exists solely to house BAH dwellers, barber shops and shady car dealerships to cater to the Marine population, and Lejeune is no different.

Jacksonville is, from I’ve heard, the worst of them.

Believe it or not, most Marines would even place Twentynine Palms on their wishlist ahead of Camp Lejeune (unless they stem from the area). It shares a lot more in common with Twentynine Palms than you would initially think. The weather is shit and miserable, being offensively humid in the summer and bitingly cold and wet in the winter. Like Twentynine Palms, it is fairly isolated from anywhere actually cool. However, Twentynine Palms even gets an advantage here by being relatively close to Los Angeles and Las Vegas (within a 3 hour drive), making weekend excursions fairly easy. There is no such luxury for Camp Lejeune, existing alone in the swampy armpit of east North Carolina.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a west coast native, but I’ve always thanked the gods I never ended up in such a place.

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Terminal Lance #491 “Honor, Courage, and Lots of Commitment”

September 8, 2017

There’s a somewhat dubious amount of commitment involved in being a Marine. The standard contract is 4 years, though many are 5 depending on what MOS you choose. As are most things in the military, this contract is very one-sided, and it’s not you that gets the final say in anything. It may as well be a sheet of paper that states:


Unlike most occupations, you can’t quit if you decide it doesn’t suit you. At best, you can ride out your 4 year commitment and give your career planner the finger when it comes time to think about reenlistment. If you choose not to show up, because maybe it’s just not for you, you’ll be sent to prison. It raises the interesting question of how many people would willingly subject themselves to the Marine Corps lifestyle if they weren’t legally bound to it.

My guess is not many.

Imagine you meet up with a girl (or boy) on Tinder, you’ve never met them before but they had a solid profile. You know what I mean; not too creepy, clear photos, one photo with a puppy or some shit, with a bio that reads like a relatively sane person.

You meet up at your local bar and you hit it off well enough. She seems great, but you’re aware you’ve only known her for 45 minutes. Anyway, the mood is right so you decide to take her back to your place. Things get hot and heavy on the couch, and she gets up to the bathroom to freshen up before what is bound to happen next…

…She comes back with a 4 year relationship agreement.

Yeah that’s basically what joining the Marine Corps is like. It’s quite a gamble really, and 4 years is a significant chunk of life to give to pretty much anything… Though I’m sure your recruiter convinced you it wasn’t.



Terminal Lance “Things Are Heating Up II”

September 5, 2017

I’ll admit, I stole this joke from my old CBRN officer, but in reality it’s hardly a joke at all.

The new Cold War just got a lot hotter over the long weekend, as people stumbled back into work today to find that North Korea has been cooking up quite a shit storm by successfully testing a hydrogen bomb. Needless to say, I’m sure a lot of active duty and IRR Marines have been tossing and turning at night wondering if this thing is about to kick off.

I’ll admit, it’s refreshing to have someone outside of the middle east for once trying to kill us. However, engaging in a modern war with nuclear options on the table isn’t something that rests easy on anyone’s shoulders, and we should all be hopeful that the rhetoric dies down sooner than later.

Regardless, I’m sure a lot of Marines are counting the days left on their contracts with a sweat on their brow.

If you have any other questions about the technique illustrated in this comic, just form a school circle around the duck and he’ll explain in further detail.



Terminal Lance “Harvey Relief”

September 1, 2017

Texas loves the military. The state of Texas supplies the United States Armed Forces with about 10% of its total personnel, making your odds of running into a Texas Marine pretty significant during your active duty time.

Every platoon has at least one (if not more), and they’re always the most obnoxiously proud people you’ll ever meet. Dallas Cowboys and Texas state flags decorate their rooms, their liberty attire consists of cowboy hats, boots and large buckles (making them quite the odd man out in places like Southern California or Hawaii). However, they’re as lovable as they are loud, always gracing us with a twang in their voice and a pride matched only by each other.

I had the great fortune of visiting Texas during my book tour and some other travels after I got out of the Corps, and it has quickly become one of my favorite places. The people were always wonderful to me and Whataburger is pretty legit. It’s because of this that my heart goes out to all of those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, and I took the opportunity today to donate $100 to Team Rubicon to support their efforts in the disaster. I encourage everyone to help in whatever way you can, and even if you can’t give much, every dollar counts.

If you’re not familiar with Team Rubicon, they’re an organization that gathers some truly great veterans and puts them to work assisting in disaster relief efforts all over the globe–from rescuing to rebuilding. Find out more about them here.



Terminal Lance #490 “Island Hopping”

August 29, 2017

Leave it to the Marine Corps to take one of the nicest places in the world and turn it into one of the most miserable locales I’ve ever had the displeasure of visiting.

Pohakuloa Training Area (colloquially known as PTA), is the largest training area in the Pacific, offering Hawaii Marines a chance to shoot some of their bigger and badder weapons for a couple of weeks each year. Anybody that was infantry or arty from MCBH Kaneohe Bay (yours truly) has been here, and as a denizen of both, I can tell you that it’s profoundly worse than the ubiquitous Camp Wilson of Twentynine Palms.

For the most part, you won’t spend a lot of time at the actual encampment of PTA, as most of your short time on this terrible volcanic rock will be spent sleeping in the dirt out on the ranges. With that said, with the lack of the constant Marine presence you find at Camp Wilson, the PTA camp is minimally staffed and largely miserable. A singular, dank little MCX store exists with limited hours of operation, and good luck standing in line at the shitty little pizza shop when your entire company is given liberty for the night.

Of course, this isn’t even going into the depressing, black landscape you’ll spend your nights in. Down Saddleback Road, you’ll find a plethora of large ranges for Marines to attack. You’d think Hawaii would be a nicer place to shoot than Twentynine Palms, but I would trade the heat for the constant rain any day of the week.

Don’t think that these ranges are immune to the powers of a range-stopping endangered animal like the Mojave Desert Tortoise, either. While short on boxed reptiles, the island is home to the Hawaiian state bird, the Nēnē. Should one of these endangered geese fly into your platoon’s range time, you can expect at least a few hours of ceasefire while the game warden tries to figure out how to remove the bird without disrupting it.

If you’re a Hawaii Marine and you’re on your way to PTA in the near future, I wish you the best of luck. God hath forsaken these lands, and you will need it.

Aloha, motherfuckers.



Terminal Lance #489 “The Firewatch List”

August 25, 2017

The firewatch list is a necessary evil of each night a platoon spends in the field. One must be on firewatch at all times, and the smartest Marines know that first and last firewatch are by far the best slots on the list. Opposite of this, the middle and second-to-last spaces are by far the worst.

If you have first or last firewatch, it simply means that you either go to bed an hour later than everyone else or wake up an hour earlier. This is great, because the extra hour at night can be used to get your gear in order for the night. The morning just as much, since it gives you a leg-up on everyone else by already having your boots on when Reveille sounds.

The middle is the worst, because it interrupts your entire night, giving you only a few hours of sleep on each end. Second-to-last watch is a cruel joke, given only to the Marines you hate the most. Always be wary of boot Marines that volunteer to take charge of a group of boots. They usually have the sharpest skates, since leadership roles often involve less physical work than that of subordinates.

To abruptly change the subject, I’d like to give a huge thank you to the USMC Combat Correspondents Association for bestowing upon me their prestigious Denig Award in San Diego on Wednesday for my work with Terminal Lance and The White Donkey. It was truly an honor and I had a great time hanging out with all of the Marines that attended the event.

Oorah devil doges.

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Terminal Lance #488 “Brief Moments of Glory”

August 22, 2017

If you were to add up the total amount of awesome moments you’ll have in an average 4 year enlistment, you end up with about 15-16 minutes of actually really rad stuff.

The rest of it?

Well, it’s kind of shit. For some, that 15 minutes is enough to keep them sticking around. In this regard, the Marine Corps is a lot like an abusive relationship. You experience those one or two once-in-a-lifetime occasions and it’s all you can think about. You know the overall thing is terrible, but you keep sticking around, convincing yourself that those fleeting moments of cool shit make up for everything else.

For every 2 minutes you spend on the hill shooting spotting rounds and rockets, you spend two hours police calling and getting yelled at for something you didn’t do. For every badass helicopter beach landing you do with your boys, you spend three days cleaning your weapon and your barracks room and also getting yelled at for something you didn’t do.

The Marine Corps is a mean mistress, but for some, those brief moments of glory are worth it.



Terminal Lance “Demographics II”

August 18, 2017

Over the last week, Terminal Lance has gotten a lot of criticism for not condemning all hate groups equally. It is because of this that I would like to take this moment to unequivocally condemn boots once and for all as a hate group.

Boots, with their Camelbaks and their tucked in mom-jeans, have been a gathering in large groups out in Oceanside and Jacksonville without a permit for years now. They incite eye rolls and rage by looking like fucking boots, and carrying god-knows-what in their backpacks. The lamestream media won’t talk about it, but I’m tired of people ignoring this growing menace on many sides.

I would also like to classify Twentynine Palms as a hate group, for its continued torture of innocent Marines every day just by its own existence.

On a serious note, and I know I’m not helping, but being a boot really fucking sucks. Boots are the only demographic you can legally hate in America without recourse. There’s just something about being new that really bothers Marines. Be it the shiny glint in their beady eyes, the mom-jeans and go-fasters, or the fact that they haven’t learned to hate life in the Corps yet; everyone has their reasons for why they hate new Marines, and it’s probably not going to get better any time soon.

Boots, if you’re reading this, just know that it eventually gets better…

When you EAS.

In other news, stay tuned, there’s lots of great Terminal Lance stuff coming down the line.



Terminal Lance “Throwback Thursday”

August 15, 2017

What a sad state of affairs we’ve had over the weekend.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, this weekend saw violent Nazi and white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, where one innocent woman was killed and 19 others injured when some sister-fucking, racist hillbilly plowed his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter protesters.

Possibly the saddest part of all? People seem to be having a lot of trouble unilaterally condemning Nazis in 2017.

72 years after the end of World War II–the bloodiest war in human history, instigated by the Nazis–the Nazis (and white nationalists, supremacists, etc) have somehow duped a large chunk of the American right wing into defending them and their “free speech.” The partisanship on this situation is deafeningly stupid, with trash fake news like Breitbart and Alex Jones creating an easy out for racists by suggesting the real problem is the “antifa” and the “BLM” protesters for instigating violence against the Nazis.

At a certain point you have to really ask yourself if you’re on the right side of things here.

I’m going to share with you my secret for knowing whether or not you’re the good guy or the bad guy here. If you have a swastika anywhere on your body or within a reasonable vicinity of yourself and you think Hitler wasn’t that bad… You are the bad guy.

The toxic rhetoric of the election and the rise of fake alt-right news has allowed this foul excrement to gain traction in mainstream discourse. Once reasonable people are now taking to defending literal Nazis–a group many of our great grandparents swore to defeat through the most violent means necessary–and it is little more than depressing.

Fuck Nazis, fuck white supremacists and white nationalists, fuck the alt-right and whatever else they call themselves these days. The brave American men that fought and died on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific would be ashamed of this. It’s sad that even Marines fall for this nonsense and completely forget what it means to be a real American patriot.


Stop reading fake garbage like Breitbart and Infowars on the internet and come back to reality. America needs to get its shit together and we can’t do it without you.




Terminal Lance “Permanent Changes”

August 11, 2017

There’s an omnipotent force in the Marine Corps that all Marines spend their days desperately avoiding:

The Green Weenie.

The Green Weenie will fuck you at every turn, so you must be on your guard at all times, and your butthole remain tight. Though He is powerful, He is not infallible. You can dupe the Green Weenie with some simple tricks, like putting your top pick for duty station at the bottom of your list.

As long as the Green Weenie thinks its fucking you over, its fury will be satisfied.

I actually really wanted to get stationed at Camp Pendleton when I was on my way out of SOI, since I had close ties to the southern California area. The Green Weenie sensed this though, and decided to put me on an island 3000 miles out in the middle of the Pacific. In retrospect, it’s hard to complain about being forced to go to Hawaii, but that didn’t stop me at the time.

You see, when you’re leaving your MOS school, they let you have the brief illusion of choice by letting you fill out a piece of paper that says where you would like to be stationed permanently after you graduate. I’m pretty sure they just throw these in the trash, because why would the Marine Corps give a shit what a PFC wants?

In other news, I’m really excited to announce that I’ve just signed a new publishing agreement with Little, Brown & Company to put out the official Terminal Lance Ultimate Omnibus! This is a collection of over 800 Terminal Lance comics–all of the comics from the website plus 300 comics previously published in the Marine Corps Times newspaper! Plus original bonus content you won’t find anywhere else! It is the ultimate Terminal Lance fan service and I’m super excited about it.

Look forward to more details soon!

In the meantime…