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.



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.



Geared Up

July 18, 2021

The Marine Corps Exchange (colloquially known as the PX) is especially skilled at separating young Marines from their hard-earned paychecks. Among the top categories for junior enlisted to blow their cash on is the tactical section of every store, where the hottest coyote-brown gear from your favorite manufacturers is ready for the purchasing. How can one resist the allure of Oakley M-Frames with interchangeable lenses? You will surely be the most hardcore operator in your platoon when you show up in non-issued gear on your next field op.

There’s a social angle here too, as those that have the most privately purchased gear in place of their issued items is considered saltier and more experienced. Taking a whole custom chest rig out to the field looks so much cooler than having to wear the standard-issue (if your command allows it).

The Corps issues every Marine two disgusting, plastic, green canteens, but god forbid you actually use them.

Real Marines use Nalgene bottles hanging from a carabiner.

On a sidenote, I was turned off the green canteens personally because the very first ones I was issued in bootcamp had mold (and god knows what else) in them. I went to take a drink on day one and got a mouthful of nasties.

I suppose this should have been an indication of the kind of adventure I was in for…



Ghosting Afghanistan

July 9, 2021

As a nation, we’ve been talking about pulling out of Afghanistan for many years. Well, by talking about, I mean kind of thinking about doing it at some point. No real plan, just, like, I dunno, whenever.

Well, it seems that period of mulling it over is over. The US has essentially abandoned Bagram air field in the dark of night and left the Afghan government to fend for itself. Naturally, the Taliban has quickly moved in to claim vast swaths of territory.

I am not a veteran of the Afghanistan war (my war was in Iraq) but I know many Marines who are. (However, I did do a lot of research on the nation when I was working on Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli.) Afghanistan has historically always been a difficult place to fight a war, and the US is not the first to call it quits without a defined victory. I’ve seen mixed opinions across the board, some of it genuine and some of it hyper-partisan based on their opinion of the current administration (of course). At the end of the day, 20 years is a long time to be engaged in any war, and it was going to need to end at some point.

Better to pull the bandaid off in one motion, arm hairs and all, than to drag it out.



Terminal Lance – The Bag Slam

June 22, 2021

The every day infantry life is full of little hacks and tricks to keep your life moving. One technique practiced across the Corps is the pack-slam. The pack-slam allows you to fit nearly anything and everything into your pack. You will never run out of room again if you utilize this technique.

It’s simple:

  1. Pack is full?
  2. Slam your fucking pack on the ground a bunch of times to jostle everything into place.
  3. Fit anything else.

You’ll never be under-prepared for the field with this brilliant and efficient life hack. Sure, everything inside will be fucked, but it’s all issued shit anyway! Sounds like Uncle Sam’s problem.



The Disney Princess

May 28, 2021

Marines are a demographic of people that spend most of their time sleeping in the wilderness and fiercely battling both each other and other animals. It’s no wonder that they fit right into the animal kingdom, with all walks of life drawn to their wild aura. Marines are always told to leave the wildlife alone, but the wildlife never seems to want to leave Marines alone.

Despite their reputation as killers and their questionable taste in songs about little yellow birds, Marines actually tend to be quite fond of animals. Go to any Marine Corps installation and you’ll see a wide array of wildlife unafraid of people, because the people they live with live at peace with them. Marine Corps installations are also often home to endangered and protected species, from the bison of Camp Pendleton, to the Mojave desert tortoise of Twentynine Palms. In Hawaii, we had endangered booby birds living on the rifle range, where Marines were regularly shooting their weapons.

I recall training at the MOUT town of Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. We were in between training evolutions and some wild pigs came from the forrest to mingle with the Marines. These black pigs just hung out with us for like 30 minutes before scurrying back into the wild.

It is their wild nature that makes Marines closer kin to the animal kingdom than you’d initially think.



The Gut Truck

May 21, 2021

Also known as the Roach Coach, the Gut Slut, the Dragon Wagon (in Japan) and the Chalupacabra. The Gut Truck is a sight for sore eyes across the Corps for tired and thirsty Marines of all creeds. It gracefully arrives on the ranges, seemingly at random, to offer ice cold refreshments and warm food at ridiculous prices.

They may be expensive, but an icy cold White Monster in between ranges is worth whatever these dank and dirty Marines are willing to pay for it. In that sense, $9 for an energy drink might be considered a bargain.

These trucks come in different shapes and sizes. I believe most of them are run by MCCS or the base, but occasionally there are privately owned ones that come around as well to sell their wares to weary Marines.



Terminal Lance – Mask Off

May 17, 2021

In case you missed it, the CDC announced last week that we can stop masks and social distancing for people that are fully vaccinated. Of course, use your best judgement as to whether or not that pertains to you in your bi-annual gas chamber training.

It probably doesn’t.

The gas chamber is a ubiquitous Marine Corps experience that we all love to hate. Your first journey into the spicy bunker starts in boot camp, where you learn how to equip your issued mask and clear it, etc., in a room filled with CS (tear) gas. The training becomes bi-annual after that (or rarely if at all, depending on your unit).

If nothing else, the gas chamber is a fun place to watch recruits and Marines alike experience immense regret for their life decisions up to that point. It’s also great to clear out the sinuses.