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Terminal Lance #367 “Motivation Levels Over Time”


Those of you that haven’t served in the military might not be familiar with the term “motivation.” Well, I mean, I’m sure you’ve heard the word itself, but it takes on a very specific context within the Marine Corps. I shall provide you with the Marine Corps definition of motivation:

  1. The amount of fucks a Marine gives, specifically as it relates to Marine Corps activities and lifestyle.

To be labeled as “moto” is generally a grave insult to the Lance Corporal crowd, as it insinuates that you give a fuck. Things that would be considered moto:

  • A high and tight haircut
  • An Eagle, Globe and Anchor tattoo or decoration
  • Wearing a Camelbak
  • The English Bulldog

When a Marine enters the Corps, he has profoundly high levels of motivation coursing through his boot veins. He tears up at the sight of bald eagles, wears a Camelbak in civilian attire to “stay hydrated,” buys 7.62 T-shirts at the PX, and randomly hums “left, right, layo” to himself. He won’t see this level of motivation again for quite some time.

As the young Marine matures into his MOS and unit assignment, he starts to question things. Was this really what he was looking for? Is cleaning your rifle 4 times a week without firing it really necessary? He starts to see the character of the environment around him, maybe even tossed an NJP or two for something that might not have been his fault.

Legend has it that this begins as soon as he is pinned with the rank of “Lance Corporal,” but no one knows for sure. Motivation levels here are at an all-time low, and will stay this way for the majority of his short enlistment.

Once the Marine exits the Corps, however, you’ll see motivation levels rise to near-boot status. He’ll show up to his new college, utilizing the GI Bill, telling war stories to anyone that will hear them. He’ll start using Marine jargon again and maybe even a knife hand or two–he might even consider talking to a prior-service recruiter.

Yes, a recruiter.

Assuming he doesn’t succumb to the extremely high levels of motivation during these vulnerable college years, he might make it out the other side as a relatively normal civilian again. Yes, with time, the motivation starts to fade. It doesn’t ever fall back into negative, as it did while you were a Lance Corporal, but it rather floats back down to a nice neutral–the experience now a positive part of your past and development. Looking back with a warm fondness for the people you met and the strange things you saw, you find yourself back where you started…

…just another civilian in a big, big world… and with most of your life left to live.

This is science, I didn’t make this up.

Anyway… Miss me?

Sorry for my brief leave of absence, but I assure you it certainly wasn’t a vacation for me. Long story short: the servers totally shit the bed two Fridays ago and it took about 5 days for them to come back up to any kind of normal operating level. In that time (and with a lot of panicking) I made the decision to switch to a new hosting provider, which was a handful and a half of working round the clock all last week getting the new site set up on the new servers. Things are now fully operational, on this end as well as our brand new forum.

Hopefully we won’t have any hiccups, but some things are still a little wonky after the move. The random button in particular has been giving me a lot of grief. On an admin note, I’m trying out the sidebar ad again, so if you experience any redirects or pop-ups please let me know. I’m trying to provide a hassle-free experience here, and while ads are a necessary evil to keep things running, I like them to be non-intrusive.

Stay tuned, we’re back in business and Terminal Lance isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

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

Terminal Lance #366 “God Loves Marines II”

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