Happy 246th Birthday, Marines!

November 10, 2021

Happy 246th Birthday, Marines! Scroll down for the full story…



Halloween 2021

October 30, 2021

What could be more spooky to a Staff NCO than a Marine breaking regs?

In case you haven’t heard, the Marine Corps officially updated its tattoo regs to reinstate the glorious “full sleeve” tattoo to Marines across the Corps. Tats are back and Marines couldn’t be more excited. Of course, there are content restrictions (mostly related to extremism, obviously), but the vast majority of Marines will be finally able to get that tattoo of their soon-to-be ex’s face emblazoned across their tricep.

Truly a great time to be a Marine.

In other news, we’re revamping the TERMINAL LANCE STORE. Every 2 weeks we’ll be releasing a brand new single design that is ONLY AVAILABLE FOR 2 WEEKS. After that, it will be replaced by something new. This week we’ve got an awesome Abe & Garcia skivvy available right now, check it out!

Happy Halloween, Marines.



Red Flags

October 16, 2021

We make fun of recruiters a lot around here. Their job is a thankless job of combing high schools and tricking millions of 18 year olds to enlist. More often than not, however, no one is tricked at all. Recruiters can tell you with a straight face that the Marine Corps will suck and you will hate your life, and you’d still have millions ready to sign the contract to Uncle Sam.

I know because I was one.

My recruiter was always pretty honest with me, except for the part about being able to change MOS’s after 2 years, which is “technically” true, but never fucking happens. It was my own dumb ass that was looking for a challenge and a change, and chose to hand the reigns of my life over to the US government for the next four years. No coercion necessary. This is the story for most people that join the Marines, who pride themselves on being difficult for the sake of being difficult.

I suppose if you were just looking for a job, you’d join the Air Force.

Don’t forget! The Terminal Lance Bestiary NFT Collection is up on OpenSea for the collecting! We’ve sold a bunch already but there are still some left to be had… Stay tuned for more.



The Story of Creation

October 14, 2021

In the beginning, there was darkness… And then… Recruits. Nasty and diseased, their existence was meant to be pain and suffering. The Drill Instructor was created second, to cull the herds of recruits and to destroy what little joy they may have had left from their former lives as civilians. Drill Instructors and Recruits are inseparable, the yin and yang of hatred and despair.

But really, name a more iconic duo than recruits and DI’s. I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t think I could ever do what drill instructors do. There’s just something about yelling at kids all day that doesn’t really appeal to me. I would be the worst drill instructor. I suppose then we should be thankful for those of us that were willing to put on those silly campaign covers and sharpen those knife hands. It’s certainly not a job for everyone.

I just wanted to mention here that I’ve released a limited edition Terminal Lance NFT collection on OpenSea! While someone has already nabbed the Drill Instructor, the Recruit is still available.

Check it out here for you collectors.



Making MEPS

September 27, 2021

In boot camp, they make a very big deal about integrity, honor, courage and commitment. Before you get there though, your recruiter may tell you to omit some key details of your medical history so that you don’t get rejected or forced through a series of hoops to get sworn in. The same can be said for the “moment of truth,” once you arrive at MCRD, where they ask you if you’ve ever done any illicit drugs or smoked the Mary Jane.

You tell them no, sir, I have never been to a hospital in my life or am even aware that marijuana exists. What is a marijuana, anyway?

A little white lie, as they call it.

I was a bit too honest when I went to MEPS. He had asked the same question to me and I told him that I had some minor heart problems as a teenager. This ended up getting me sent back with a cardiologist consult before I was eligible to join.

The only person I’ve ever seen as disappointed in me as my recruiter when I returned empty handed is my father.



Lo-Fi Lance

September 17, 2021

Lo-Fi Lance Corporal is up for auction as an NFT on Opensea right now! Check it out here.

It’s late… or early… you’re not sure. The last of the Marines have finally gone to sleep, the drunken shouting and thrashing has subsided for the night. Stephens is still awake in his room playing Warzone, but he’s quiet enough, with little more than the soft glow of the TV in his room to tell the tale. He’s gonna be tired for PT in the morning.

You won’t be there though, you’re on duty. At least you get to skip PT, you say to yourself. The clinging warmth of the daytime has just been overtaken by the cold, crisp morning air. The sky turns to ominous shades of purples, blues and oranges as you drink your fourth energy drink. You see signs of life from across the parking lot. The duty at the barracks next door is roving.

Nothing to report.

You check your phone. The last text you got from her was at 12:32. She sent you a picture from her bed. Nothing salacious or anything like that, just a cute selfie to get you through the night. She legitimately felt bad for you having to be up all night. You think about texting her, but she’s asleep. Best not to bother her.

The logbook is gross. The green hardcover feels like it’s about to fall off, some of the binding is loose. You’d think the book was 60 years old, but it was just put out a few days ago. Who takes the log books when they’re full? No one knows. The table is also gross. The carved phallic graffiti is amusing at first glance, but somehow there’s always a layer of filmy oil dressing the surface. Your arms feel gross for resting on it.

You hope Ramirez is on time to relieve you at 0800, but you know he probably won’t be.

You’re on duty.



Leaving Afghanistan

August 30, 2021

Today, the last US military plane departed Kabul, putting an official end to the American war in Afghanistan as we have known it for the last twenty years. There are still some American civilians left in the country that need to be evacuated, and a ravaged nation left behind in turmoil and fear; but the overarching military narrative that began on September 11th, 2001 has come to a close.

It’s hard for me to talk or even think about Afghanistan without bringing in the larger context of America’s involvement over the last 20 years. To talk solely about this withdrawal misses the point, but let me be clear: this withdrawal was an absolute shit show of the highest order. There was a way to do this that would have been less of a systemic shock to the entire country, even if Taliban victory was inevitable, and this wasn’t it.

This was chaos.

However, I also want to be clear that the war in Afghanistan was a meandering quagmire that should have ended years ago. America fooled itself into thinking that sending our young men and women to walk around with rifles and hand out soccer balls to kids would fundamentally change the culture of Afghanistan. The failure in Afghanistan is the failure of every administration since 2001, and the American people for their passive disinterest throughout the whole thing, allowing it to fester for as long as it did while arms manufacturers and military contractors made as much money as they could.

To be abundantly clear, the failure of the Afghanistan war is not on the young men and women of the United States Military. Even during this hasty withdrawal, the Marines and other servicemembers served admirably and heroically as they rescued over 100,000 civilians from Taliban oppression. 13 of them even gave their lives for it. Their names are right here:

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas

Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee

Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, Jackson, Wyoming

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California

Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska

Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts

Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri

Navy Hospital Corpsman Max W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio

The events of the last few weeks have been disappointing to watch unfold, but I’m ultimately glad to see the Post 9/11 era come to a close, regardless of what comes next.

After the work I did on my most recent graphic novel, Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli, it’s hard for me to not be cynical about Afghanistan. Western imperialism is ultimately how we ended up here. In the grand context of the world, America’s 20 year stint was just another failed attempt at conquering the nation. Before us, the Russians. Before them, the British.

Hopefully this was the last attempt.

As the years have gone by doing this comic of mine, I’ve distanced my own personal opinions from most major issues because I like to keep Terminal Lance about the Marines, rather than myself. Terminal Lance, to me, is a safe space for Marines to engage with each other and laugh at each other’s shenanigans. I think of the comic and the overarching social media empire as a kind of virtual smoke pit of sorts.

However, this moment is… different. Aside from being historically significant for obvious reasons, the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the backdrop of my entire adult life (and even a few years before that). I personally went on two deployments to Iraq, with many of my friends close and far serving in Afghanistan. Like many veterans, I’ve been wrestling with a lot of emotions. I wrestled with a lot of them when ISIS steamrolled across Iraq as well. Whatever emotions you’re wrestling with in this whole situation, I assure you that they are valid.

I believe my measured approach to administrating Terminal Lance is correct. I see it as my duty to be a calming presence for active duty Marines, rather than an enraged veteran hot onto the latest trending outrage, trying to sell you coffee (though my coffee would be the best of them all, tbh). The spirit of Terminal Lance is to roll with the punches, because shit sucks and you may as well laugh. I got a lot of DM’s today from Marines that wanted to know what I think, because there’s a lot of noise on the internet.

I hope this clears it up.




August 27, 2021

Today I just wanted to honor the 11 Marines, Corpsman, Soldier, and innocent civilians that were killed in yesterday’s horrific attack in Kabul. My deepest sympathies go out to their families and fellow servicemembers.

Terminal Lance occupies a strange space, and by extension so do I. I consider it my job with Terminal Lance to provide a safe space of entertainment for active duty Marines. I think back to my time as an active duty Marine, and I know that I needed all of the levity I could get. I would have loved something like TL to get me through the worst days.

Over the years of doing this, my comic has become a mainstay of Marine Corps culture itself. This has been an amazing journey for me, but it comes with the weight of knowing that every single Marine that is killed in action has probably read my comic, laughed at the instagram page, or maybe even talked to me personally. After doing Terminal Lance for over 10 years, the average Lance Corporal in 2021 probably grew up reading my work. The death of any Marine weighs on me probably more than you’d expect.

I recall a few years back when there was a shooting at a recruiting station in Chattanooga TN. Among the dead was a Lance Corporal Skip Wells. Now, I get hundreds of messages from across the Corps every day, so it should have come as no surprise that a few days prior to his death, Skip had sent me a funny photo that he thought other people might get a laugh at. It was a punch to the gut.

There’s a lot of emotions flying around regarding the entire situation in Afghanistan, some political, a lot of pundits, a lot of bullshit, a lot of armchair tacticians. Regardless, I think it goes without saying that this entire situation could have been handled better from the start, but arguing about it isn’t going to help anyone right now. Marines are used to being dealt a shit hand and making it work.

I’m confident the Marines on the ground in Kabul right now are going to make it work, and I pray for their safe return.



Shiny Things II

August 13, 2021

If there’s one thing we know about Marines, it’s that they positively, absolutely, fundamentally love to salute the shinies. They just can’t help themselves. Curiously, despite the fact that Marines are known to engage in rigorous physical activity in their day to day, most standard issue rank is made from shiny brass with some black paint put over the top. This inevitably leads to the paint chipping away against flak jackets, et all, revealing the shiny beneath.

Can you blame Marines for saluting the mistaken sheen? Life aboard a Marine base is stressful as a junior enlisted. You are constantly on edge waiting for a Staff NCO or Officer to come around the corner and demand to be greeted–and greeted properly. God forbid you get the rank or rate wrong, even though collar rank is barely an inch wide.

Having never been an officer myself, I have to assume that the feeling of being saluted is elating. You simply exist, shiny and chrome, and the enlisted must acknowledge your existence by military law, with their disgusting un-shiny ranks atop their collars.

What a life.



Fire with Fire(teams)

July 30, 2021

I was born and raised on the west coast of our beautiful United States and have lived here my entire life (outside of my time as an infantry Marine with 3/3 in Hawaii). While the best coast is blessed with much less hurricane-y weather than our opposite end, devastating wildfires in Oregon and California are par for the course ’round these parts.

Between Twentynine Palms and Camp Pendleton, California is home to more Marines than any other state in the union. Knowing this, it seems like a missed opportunity to use their god-forsaken-given powers to fight these natural disasters.

If it aint raining, Marines aint training. Not by choice, of course, it just happens to rain everywhere Marines train. This is a natural phenomenon much like a desert mirage, or POG’s getting promoted to Corporal after like a year in the fleet. Send grunts out to the field, you’re guaranteed to get some rain.

After all, how else would they train?