Some busy times here at Terminal Lance between The White Donkey and other projects in the works (super top-secret for the time being). As such, I didn’t really have anything ready for today so I’m running a comic previously published in the Marine Corps Times print edition. For those of you not aware, Terminal Lance runs original strips every week in the Marine Corps Times paper (different from the ones published on the site).
Cutting scores are a dubious invention that I’ve never agreed with. If you didn’t know that, you must have been reading some other webcomic called “Terminal Lance” over the last few years. The thesis of my conflict is that you have a universal rank system throughout the Marine Corps, but completely un-universal requirements to attain the rank. This would be okay if the requirements weren’t so arbitrary and unrelated to anything you actually do. There’s no technical reason the cutting scores for 0351 are different than 0331, but it doesn’t stop an average weapons platoon from having Corporals in every section except Assault.
That’s not an exaggeration. There was a period of time when my entire section was Lance Corporals. We had a Lance Corporal section leader, Lance Corporal squad leaders, and Lance Corporal gunners and A-gunners. My experience is limited to the infantry, but I can tell you firsthand that it doesn’t work. I was a solid Lance Corporal myself… for over 3 years. Good Conduct Medal, First Class PFT and Expert rifle scores, but locked out by an unforgiving cutting score specific to 0351’s.
Probably the worst solution to my problem that I’ve heard repeatedly is you should have just gotten meritoriously promoted. That’s not really the point, or a solution, as it doesn’t fix the shitty system ultimately at fault here. Of course, I’m not suggesting that my friends in Mortars and Machineguns didn’t deserve the coveted NCO rank, I’m suggesting that some of us in Assault did too.
The other failed argument I hear is “you don’t deserve to be an NCO just because you want to be.” Shut up. Stop pretending like NCO is a rank given to anyone based on anything more than just a cutting score. Fucknut O’Hoolihan in admin picks up with an 1100, his rank will still apply to the entire Marine Corps.
He is a Corporal of Marines, whether he deserves to be or not.