TL Comics

Terminal Lance #197 “Symbology”


The shirt-stays are easily the most confusing and annoying uniform-related item you can find in a Marine’s closet. I’m sure most Marines had never actually dealt with them prior to enlisting, much like myself, so when I found myself confronted with the elastic straps I really had no idea what to do. The drill instructors give you a demo in bootcamp, but everyone seems to have their own way of wrapping them around their legs (or not at all). The application of shirt stays is a whole other matter; one that defies most common logic of casual clothing, forcing you to put everything except your pants on first.

I found this photo on Google

Shirt-stays aside, the uniforms of all branches of the military are loaded with all kinds of lore and tradition and stuff that is either true, implicit or just completely false. I’ve personally heard of the officer rank-thing while I was active duty, but as I asked around prior to making this strip it seemed it wasn’t a universally known thing. I suppose to that extent, I really could have had Abe say just about anything, but there is some kernel of truth (not Colonel) in there somewhere–at the very least in my head. Regardless, I’m sure it all gives history buffs something to sink their teeth into–of which I am not.

I’m not sure what it is, but history has always been my worst subject in school or otherwise. It’s not for a lack of respect for those that came before me, far from it. Rather, I believe it simply has to do with the way my mind operates. Every person’s mind operates differently, naturally mine tends to lean more toward the visual and immediate. Memorizing facts that may or may not be of any use to me has never been a strong point–memorizing anything has never really been a strong point for me, as I can barely remember where I leave my sunglasses every day. This paragraph has little to do with the military, but I just felt like ranting about this since you can really only talk about shirt-stays for so long.

In other news, it’s officially summer time here for me. I finished finals last week and deprived you all of new content, for which I’m sure you all will resent me for eternity like some kind of neglected child shoved in the closet so I can play hours of World of Warcraft or sleep with strange men in daddy’s old bed. Whether you do or not, I’m excited to spend the summer working on bigger and better things in the name of Lance Corporals all over the Corps. Look forward to some big things this summer!

You can find last summer’s big thing right here.

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

Terminal Lance “Ultimatum” (Marine Corps Times)

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