The Marine Corps is an organization of many customs and traditions. It values and reveres the courtesies and rich history of those that came and served before them. Some traditions take the form of dress uniforms and various greetings of the day. Others are just confusing, like the one that says that the trucks always have to be comically late to pick you up from the armory prior to a field op.
There’s plenty of other traditions too, such as the motivated new lieutenant that thinks he can change the platoon and improve morale, or the one guy that will always lose at least one piece of serialized gear during your 3 day field op, forcing your platoon to stay for another 7 hours later than you were supposed to.
These traditions form the foundation of the Marine Corps, and your senior enlisted hold them dear to their hearts. This can lead to frustration amongst the junior enlisted Marines, but the ones that stick around and reenlist will eventually carry on the torch. They will rise to the occasion and make sure things stay exactly as they are.
It is tradition.
On a personal note, I feel like this comic strip goes back to a kind of classic Terminal Lance form. A comic about the little things and the absurdity. I’m trying to get back into that mode, as I feel like with the strip’s massive success, there’s a lot of pressure to make every strip the most profound and meaningful literary masterpiece of cultural critique that is impossible to live up to. Terminal Lance is about the life of the grunt, which is a life ripe with the littlest of things.