Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #459 “Higher and Tighter”

February 21, 2017

As the Staff NCO moves up, his hairline follows. This is the unwritten rule, a creed by which all Staff NCO’s are bound. While this comic just illustrates the beginning, this will eventually culminate into the highest and tightest of haircuts: the Screaming Eagle.

Know this, however, that the Screaming Eagle haircut is actually a scream for help. Help from within; for inside of every Staff NCO is a Lance Corporal wondering what happened. Every knife-hand filled with regret, and the regrets beget new knife-hands in its place. Every ass-chewing a lament, ruing the weight of the rockers upon their collarbones.

Luckily for him, base barbers are experts at crafting the $7 art piece to sit atop one’s head, an ever obvious indication of their cry for help.

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I apologize for the absence last week, I was in London yet again visiting my beloved for Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, I’m really happy that Jeff Sornig was able to fill in for me in the interim. He’s a super talented guy working here in LA at Nickelodeon, a retired Master Sergeant, and all around cool dude. You can see more of his work here. I was slightly absent in the upcoming to my trip, only because I was trying to finish up a new Terminal Lance project before I left…

I was thinking of trying to do some kind of travel blog thingy during my trip to London, but I was jet-lagged as fuck for the first 3 days and then sick as a dog the remainder of the trip.

For the record, I am currently back stateside, so look forward to more TL on Friday! In the meantime, follow the official TL channels on Twitter, Instagram and FB for more hilarity.

Check the buttons below.

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Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #457 “Good Conduct”

February 7, 2017

After three years of “Good Conduct,” one will generally receive their Good Conduct Medal accordingly. It really is simply an award received for not fucking up. This might seem easy, but you’d be surprised at how many Marines fail to accomplish such a simple task. In all fairness, the Green Weenie is always hard and always thirsty for that ass, so it’s tougher than you think.

If we’re being deadly honest, a lot of the career of the average Marine is spent simply trying not to fuck up. If you fuck up, you’ll be punished. Don’t fuck up. This mentality acts as a simple, yet effective guiding light in moments of darkness over the 4 year enlistment. “Protect What You’ve Earned” comes to mind, as an alternative and palatable way of saying “don’t fuck this shit up, you got bennies waiting for you at the end of this.”

Of course, a Good Cookie pales in comparison to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but you might as well shoot for both.

Never forget, the Green Weenie is always watching.

Oh and lastly, for those of you curious about the question I posed last week regarding male civilian spouses, it turns out they do exist! Here is one response I received:

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Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #456 “Dating Pool”

February 3, 2017

Sorry, civilian guys, it’s science. Female Marines exclusively date and marry only other male Marines.

It’s science. Prove me wrong.

Romance in the Marine Corps usually works something like this for male Marines:

Boy has girl “back home,” probably a high school sweetheart or some such. He joins the Marine Corps, graduates boot camp, comes home on boot leave and asks her to marry him because he’s young and has no grasp of consequences yet. Girl says yes, she moves away from home, hates her life, cheats on him and they get divorced.

Anecdotally, from my own observations, this doesn’t seem to be the case with female Marines. Lady Marines seem to exclusively date other Marines (or otherwise service members from other branches). I can make some rough guesses as to why, such as the fact that women make up a total of less than 8% of the entire Marine Corps, leaving the 92% of hyper masculine and undersexed men to fight over them. Or perhaps women generally feel like civilian men are less masculinely appealing than their Corps counterparts.

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The world may never know, but if you can find me a female Marine married to that civilian boy from back home, I’d love to talk to him.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #455 “Grass Week”

January 27, 2017

Grass Week is one of those things that comes around every year that you’re not really sure why you’re doing it, but you do it anyway because you were fucking told to, you piece of shit… Sorry, my inner NCO came out there.

For those not in the know, Grass Week is when you and 30 of your best friends gather around a white barrel and wish death upon it, firing pretend bullets at the pretend targets painted on it (also colloquially known as snapping in). Another word for pretend in the Corps is notional. So, notionally, you’re annihilating the lone remaining member of the Ancient Barrel Army against their rotund onslaught.

I was never really sure what 5 days of this was supposed to accomplish, but grass week in fact requires that you spend 5 business days staring at a white barrel and pretending not to text on your phone the entire time. I suppose it makes sense in boot camp–when there’s good odds you’ve never held a rifle in your life–but for the experienced marksman, it’s just a skate week of doing essentially nothing.

Still, it’s good to know that Marines will be ready for anything… Even the Ancient Barrel Uprising.

Hopefully it’s not as horrific as the Moon Spider Rebellion. (Though, to be frank, the Moon Spiders had good reason to rise up)

On a side note, I want to give pause today to mention International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It has never been a secret that I am a Jew. I’ve mentioned it in the past and I have no interest in hiding it. In boot camp I was one of 2 recruits in my platoon attending Shabbat services every Friday night. It is with a great sense of solemnity that I hope we never forget the genocide of 6 million Jews during World War II. America is the greatest nation on earth, and I am proud to be part of this amazing country that defeated (with the Allies) the Nazis. While the Marines specifically were more engaged with fighting the Japanese during WWII, it is in the spirit of the veterans of that great war, and the heroism they showed fighting against great evil that fills me with honor having served in that same United States military. My service will always remain in that shadow of greatness, and I am okay with that. I truly hope no one ever has to fight that fight again.

Today is a day we remember atrocity, so that it may never happen again.

Never forget.

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Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #454 “Double Life”

January 24, 2017

If you believed the illusion of going home on leave, you’d think being a Marine is a glorious task gifted from the gods. You come home for the first time in that new uniform, with a tight haircut and a fresh shave with a splash of Cobra 65 and you’d think you actually were some kind of a hero. Little does your family and high school sweetheart know, you haven’t really done much of anything besides pass the fuck out on the Reaper hike and get a thermometer shoved up your asshole by an eager Corpsman.

Still, we all keep the myth alive. Don’t get me wrong, you do occasionally do some pretty neat shit. I’ve fired all kinds of rockets and machine-guns, and I’ve flown on helicopters across the vast deserts of the middle east in enemy territory. But this generally remains about 1% of the job. For some, that 1% is enough to make up for the 99% of mundanity and general all-around awfulness.

For the others, there’s always the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

On a side note, don’t freak out about the color, I’m just messing around with it. Well, there’s a lot more color content coming soon, but I can’t talk about it yet… If you follow TL on Instagram, you’ll probably come across some of the work in progress over here posted to the story. Stay tuned for more TL!

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Inauguration 2017”

January 20, 2017

I’ve asserted and maintained over the years that Terminal Lance remain apolitical, and I don’t think this strip changes that. As well, today is obviously a historic event worth paying mind to, regardless of who you voted for. This is also the first time since starting Terminal Lance that a new President has taken office. While we were definitely doing our thing in 2012, Obama’s presidency has presided over the entire life of this comic since it launched in 2010.

One passage from President Trump’s inaugural address that stood out to me was this:

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.

I don’t think it’s a far leap to reach the most logical conclusion here…

We’re starting a galactic empire, you guys.

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The only question that remains is will Marines be turned into Stormtroopers or will they gain the title “Space Marine.” This is an important distinction, and I think maybe we can all agree that Marines (having earned the title) should keep their Marine moniker.

My vote is for Space Marines, and the Army can be Stormtroopers. The Navy will take over command of Star Destroyers any other potentially massive super weapons and the Air Force will manage our expansive fleet of TIE Fighters.

“Air Force” doesn’t really make sense in space, since there’s no air, but you guys can be renamed to “Vacuum Force,” because of the vacuum of space.

Hey, I don’t make the rules.

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #453 “Cease Fire”

January 17, 2017

Cease fire! Call the game warden, the range is closed until this fucking tortoise either goes away or someone can safely move it.

That’s right, an entire range, costing the United States military millions of dollars in manpower and equipment to run, will grind to a screeching halt in the event of a dumb fucking tortoise meandering into the middle of it. This is also true of the many other endangered animals that mysteriously like to inhabit dangerous Marine Corps training areas, like the Hawaiian Nēnē, the water buffalo of Camp Pendleton, and the booby birds of the MCBH rifle range.

Gangway, motherfuckers.

Gangway, motherfuckers.

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No endangered animals are known to inhabit Camp Lejeune because it’s a shit hole and not even they want to live in Jacksonville.

Here’s an idea, endangered animals: MAYBE YOU WOULDN’T BE ENDANGERED IF YOU DIDN’T LIVE IN THE SAME PLACE WHERE MARINES SHOOT LIVE AMMO ALL FUCKING DAY.

Fuck!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% onboard as a wildlife advocate, but there’s nothing more frustrating than being a grunt about to run Range 10 at PTA and having to wait six hours for some endangered fucking geese to figure out what the fuck they’re doing with their lives. And don’t even think about moving them yourselves, the tortoise could piss itself and die. That’s not a joke.

It will piss itself and die.

Okay.

What a majestic fucking animal.

On an unrelated note, this weekend I sat down with my friend Marissa and recorded a podcast for her show. Check it out here!

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “Confirmed Badass”

January 13, 2017

So as I’m sure you all heard one way or another, unless you get your news exclusively from webcomics, General Mattis is one step closer to confirmation today by receiving his waiver from congress to be the next Secretary of Defense. This followed his great confirmation hearing yesterday with the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he knife-handed everyone to near-death.

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Luckily no one was injured and everyone walked away with twice as much testosterone according to some preliminary blood work done immediately following.

Okay, this is seriously the last comic I’m going to do on General Mattis for a while. It’s fun but the joke gets old when every military outlet is foaming at the mouth with General Mattis memes and stories. He’s amazing, we all know. I’m really excited to see how the military community as a whole embraces him as their new leader. This is the first time that I can think of where everyone is universally happy and absolutely adores their leader. It’s kind of weird, honestly, but I suppose that’s not a bad thing.

Legends and memes aside, General Mattis is hands-down the most qualified person on earth for the job. So if you’re worried… Don’t be.

Duffelblog creator Paul Szoldra and myself talked about this and some other topics in a test-run podcast we recorded over the weekend, check it out and let us know if you enjoy it (or hate it).

ALSO, the lovely girls over at Pin-Ups for Vets wanted me to tell you that there’s going to be a pretty rad event on January 21st that they’re hosting. It’s free to veterans and active duty, so come on by! I might even make a surprise appearance.

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Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance #452 “Defense Mechanism”

January 10, 2017

 

In Abe’s defense, his company First Sergeant hasn’t shown to historically be the most friendly toward his kind.

There’s very few reasons for a Lance Corporal to be in a First Sergeant’s office at all, and at least half of those reasons involve cleaning the floors. Generally speaking, Lance Corporals should never talk to anyone over the rank of Sergeant unless something is terribly wrong. This is why fraternization rules are so important. Why the hell would you want to hang out with a Staff NCO anyway? Doesn’t seem to stop some, but to each their own.

The relationship between Staff NCO’s and the lower enlisted variety is often one of significant give and take. They give you shit and you take it. This leads to one ultimate outcome: you either get out after 4 years because you don’t like taking shit, or you reenlist so you can inevitably give shit to someone else (and enjoy it immensely).

Naturally, I chose the former, which brought us to this webcomic.

Plenty more to come, stay tuned…

Maximilian

Creator

Terminal Lance “New Joins”

January 6, 2017

Well it’s finally happened you guys. Yesterday, the first female infantry Marines checked into 1st Battalion, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune.

Now they finally get to understand the prestige of being a grunt in the United States Marine Corps. They’ll get to do such intense physical activities as standing by in their rooms or cleaning weapons at the armory for 7 hours for no particular reason. They’ll spend a bunch of time standing around waiting for formations because First Sergeant and the CO are always late. They’ll completely stop giving a fuck about their careers after a couple of years and do the bare minimum to pass PFT’s and ranges because they just don’t care anymore and their cutting score is fucked anyway.

Welcome to being a grunt.

You’ve earned it.

It’s been a long and controversial journey, one that I don’t think is ultimately going to really change much of anything in the long run, despite keyboard scholars proclaiming otherwise. I was in the Marine Corps infantry myself, and I can tell you that it isn’t spec-ops. Not every grunt can fireman carry another 250 lb Marine in full gear. I had a Marine in my platoon that weighed 120 lbs soaking wet, and there’s no way he could have carried me or anyone else out of a danger zone.

However, there’s ten-thousand other things this Marine could have done in that situation, such as operate a radio or a machine-gun. So don’t worry, the gruntpocalypse isn’t happening quite yet, I’m sure.

We’ll see if these changes stick with the incoming administration, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t. But who knows! If you’re with 1/8 and you have some insight on this story, please shoot me an email off the record and let me know how it’s going.