TL Comics

Terminal Lance #2 “SNCO Syndrome”


I often-times find the many dialects of the Marine Corps to be interesting, or at least entertaining. It’s strange how once someone goes into bootcamp and gets shit out the other side, their entire vocabulary is increased (or decreased really) with a bunch of nonsensical grunts and half-phrases. Some of these people continue to talk like this for years, to a point where I feel it actually starts to deteriorate their vocabulary uncontrollably. I refer to this as “SNCO Syndrome,” keep in mind that not all Staff NCO’s suffer from this. Often times when people get to the fleet, their motivation becomes torn in half at the reality of it all and they start to regain their original thought processes again.

Some, however, retain this mode of thought and speech. This comic is actually inspired by a true story. I had a Master Guns who would literally say “Cleared Hot!” in place of most of this vocabulary. Sometimes it made sense, most of the time it didn’t. I know how it impacted the work environment, which is to say, not really at all. However, I can’t imagine that at home yelling “Cleared Hot!” at the most inappropriate times would end well. These things carry on all over the Corps though; my recruiter, a Staff Sergeant at the time, used to end every sentence and answer every question with “Good to Go.” As strange as it is, usually you knew what he meant. Other words permeate the barracks and chow halls of the Marine Corps, such as Hello, Roger, and the almost always inappropriate, Kill or it’s extended version: Kill Bodies. I think what bothers me the most about Kill as a response is that it’s never the people who’ve actually killed someone that use it.

Whatever the case, I think all Marines–SNCO’s and motivated junior enlisted need to expand their vocabularies. If you’re the kind of person that can answer a question with Semper Fi, you probably need to be on medication. Marine-Speak though, love it or hate it–to each his own–is universally understood by Marines alike, whether they use it or not.

With that said, welcome to comic #2! I plan on keeping Tuesday and Friday as my update days. I’m going to try and hold true to that as best I can. I’m still working on getting a forum up. As I mentioned in the news, as I work on the site things may come and go and do some crazy shit, so just bare with it. Eventually I’ll get everything settled to a point where I can leave it alone. The forum is coming, I’m trying to find one that’s suitable and easy for someone like me who knows nothing about PHP and HTML to use.

One last note, I’d like all you motivated warfighters to do me a favor. If you have a buddy (all Marines have “a buddy”) who happens to be stationed elsewhere such as Pendleton or Lejeune, please send them the site and let them have a look around. Lets make this shit Marine Corps wide!


Infantry Marine turned Combat Artist turned animator turned bestselling author turned dad.

Terminal Lance #1 “How Knick-Names are Born”

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