Terminal Lance #571 “The Promotion Ceremony”
January 31, 2020
There’s never more pressure than being the center of attention in a promotion ceremony. Your entire company is gathered, all Marines present and accounted for. They stand menacingly at the position of attention, their faces locked forward, but their eyes locked on you. Your senior Lance Corporals told you repeatedly not to fuck it up. They told you four times to salute, give the greeting of the day, and accept the red folder. Right-face, forward-march, be on your way.
To all who shall see these presents, greetings awkwardly comes out of your First Sergeant’s mouth… It’s happening.
You salute, greet your company commander, accept the promotion warrant, get pinned, and you’ve nearly finished… And then it happens. The simplest move in all of the Marine Corps drill manual… A right-face.
…You go left.
Do you about-face? Do you just roll with it? Walk the opposite direction? Are you going to get hazed by your senior Lance Corporals for embarrassing them in front of the entire company?
It’s a high-stakes, high-pressure situation, to be sure.
Luckily, if you’re anything like me, you’ll only have to do it once.