Terminal Lance #198 “The Worst Insult in the Corps”
May 11, 2012
If there’s one word that can get even the surliest (especially) Marines riled up, it’s “boot”. There is no greater insult in the Corps than to be labeled a boot. That is, after you’ve eliminated the status from yourself at least. Of course, the average boot Marine isn’t going to complain much about being called a boot, but that’s beside the point.
Once you’ve returned home from your first (or second) combat deployment, “boot” status is generally removed. The actual definition of a “boot” is somewhat sketchy, depending on who you ask. For some, it’s those that don’t have Combat Action Ribbons, for others (most) it’s simply those that have never been on a deployment of any kind. This, of course, is in infantry terms. When you start getting into the POG world it becomes a little stranger, since the majority of them don’t go on regular deployment cycles. For most grunts though, most POG’s are boots automatically, which of course isn’t always true–but this is a comic about grunts after all.
The “boot” label is all about experience and pride–as is most things in the Marine Corps. To be called a boot is a direct punch at the grunt’s pride, and if you do so without caution it could end very poorly for you.
So if you’re looking for fighting words, look no further.