Terminal Lance #572 “Silky Smooth”

February 21, 2020

Life in the armory is one of silence… Solitude… Darkness… Misery… So much so, that armory custodians across the Corps must find pleasure in some of the most basic and simple of things. For most, it is the fleeting feelings of power they have over their infantry counterparts as they rule over their caged domain.

For others, it is laminated weapons cards. For every card you have, it is expected that you will “laminate” them for regular use. Since most Marines don’t own lamination machines, and aren’t going to waste their money on it, they just use clear packing tape to seal the small cards. Armory custodians get especially upset if cards are not laminated, though no one really knows why…

…But show up to grab your weapon without these smoothed cards?

Good luck.



Terminal Lance #531 “Bitch and Moan II”

September 25, 2018

Marines will bitch about anything. However, the one thing that sets Marines off the most? Cleaning. Marines, generally, feel like cleaning things is some form of torture. This is probably due to the negative association with cleaning and punishment given to most of us during boot camp. If you fuck up, expect to find yourself cleaning things for hours on end.

Despite the fact that cleaning is ultimately self-beneficial in the form of avoiding diseases and overall nastiness, Marines despise cleaning. Any effort to make them do so will be seen with absolute disdain and aversion. Marines go to great lengths to avoid cleaning in all of its dubious forms.

A lot of this has to do with pride and rate. Since cleaning is usually relegated to boots (ew), Marines that feel like they rate will see it as a challenge to their social standing within the unit. In the infantry, where basically everyone is a Lance Corporal, rate is often more important than rank. As such, cleaning becomes one of the delineating factors in who rates and who doesn’t.

Those who rate should not have to clean. Not even their own bodies.

Am I right?

In unrelated news, don’t forget that I will be in San Diego on October 4th on New York Times hosted a panel with some cool ass people. Get your tickets to the event here, and VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY GET A DISCOUNT with the code “NYT.”



Terminal Lance #509 “Foundational”

March 23, 2018

Being in the infantry sucks. It sucks so much, in fact, that one has to assume it’s intentional. When people refer to the Marine Corps and refer to “The Suck,” what they really mean is every day life in the infantry. The problem I have trying to discuss the suck of the infantry in relation to other MOS fields is that one always assumes we’re talking about combat. Naturally, but that’s really not the heart of the problem.

In a straight up POG environment, one is usually sent to a shop where they work with like 5 other Marines. They can’t treat each other like total garbage, because they have to work with each other every day and each one is doing the thing they are paid to do. In the infantry, you have like 50 dudes in a platoon, and you’re all treated like total shit on some level. The shit tends to roll downhill, so if you’re a boot, you’re treated like shit by your senior Lance Corporals. If you’re a senior Lance Corporal or NCO, you’re treated like shit by your Staff NCO’s. If you’re a Staff NCO at a platoon level, you better believe Gunny and First Sergeant treat you like shit.

The infantry is treated like shit. It is the foundations on which the Marine Corps rests. Any time someone reads my comics and says to me “I don’t really remember the Corps being that bad…”

…I immediately know they were a POG.



Terminal Lance #469 “Endless Conversation”

April 21, 2017

An interesting phenomenon occurs in the lower ranks of the Corps where Marines can talk to each other literally 24 hours a day and never run out of shit to talk about.

Think about it this way: Marines live in very close quarters with each other, they go to work together, and most often spend their weekends together. Marines are never apart from each other in any practical sense, yet still they can’t seem to shut the fuck up when they’re together. Every topic is up for grabs and every topic becomes intrinsically interesting upon intellectual dissection and discourse.

Marines will spend their hours talking about everything from (most commonly) the women they have slept with (and how each of their respective vaginas differed from each other), to the difference between soft drinks being called soda or pop.

It’s soda, by the way.

Married couples don’t even talk to each other the same way that Marines do. I suppose when you’re isolated in a shitty situation together, pretty much anything is a worthy escape.

In other news, if you’re in LA this weekend, come by to the Los Angeles Festival of Books and come see me talk about my book and war literature in general with some other really awesome guests. I’m super cool in person and I will sign anything you put in front of me.

Here are the details! See you on Sunday.

As for Starkiller base, I have issues.

First off, how the fuck does the base get close enough to a star in order to suck it up into the gun? The earth is roughly 90 million miles away from our sun, and it’s fucking 90 degrees outside today here in LA. There’s no way a planet could get that close to a star without boiling its atmosphere off and murdering everyone on the surface.

Second, does the planet have hyperdrive capability? We never see any “engines” on the damn thing, how does it move around the galaxy and suck up stars? Can an entire planet travel through hyperspace?

Third, how do the beams move across the galaxy so fast? Traveling at the speed of light, it would take beams of light 4 years to reach the nearest star system to earth (Alpha Centauri), yet somehow this shit leaps across the galaxy in an instant.

Fourth, how could you possibly program a beam weapon to “seek” a target? We see it bend toward the planets in the film and it makes no sense.

At least the Death Star was believable.