Terminal Lance “Area 51”

July 23, 2019

Boy they sure are going to be disappointed when they get to Area 51 and it’s just another really boring air wing base filled with POG’s. I would say the aliens aboard Area 51 probably aren’t even attractive enough to have sex with, but it’s an Air Force base and everyone is attractive.

Have I mentioned before that the Air Force is bizarro Marine Corps? Everything is the opposite.

They have an Area 51… We have a 51 Area at Camp Pendleton. Area 51 is super famous, mysterious, and full of hot aliens that everyone wants to dick down. 51 Area has like… a gas station Marine Mart MCX? Not nearly as interesting, but it’s all we have.

In the meantime, do me a solid and don’t tell the general public that Marines don’t actually know anything about Area 51… It’ll help me out with something.



Terminal Lance #549 “Meet the Fleet”

May 31, 2019

During your stay at the luxurious Marine Corps resort and spa, you’ll have numerous days and moments that will stick with you and many that you would consider somewhat terrifying. There are few days as nerve-wracking as those first moments of arrival at an infantry unit.

Fresh off the parade deck, little boots from SOI are shuttled over to their new place of duty on the same day of graduation, still paying off their negative leave balance from the 10 days of boot leave a couple of months prior. For some, it can be a short drive across the base from 52 Area of Camp Pendleton to one of the infantry strongholds. Others may spend a couple of hours driving over to Twentynine Palms.

For myself and the other 15 boots in my section, we were taken over to San Diego International Airport, where we hopped on the next evening flight to Honolulu, arriving at my new infantry battalion home sometime around 9 or 10. At this point, the barracks was awash with the lingering smell of alcohol abuse and depression, with shirtless Lance Corporals catcalling from the catwalk as we arrived at Mackie Hall.

I suppose I lucked out personally, because the two Machinegunners I got roomed with were too drunk and tired to care that I arrived. They pointed to a rack and said “that one’s yours,” and went back to sleep in their silkies.

The boot friends that I arrived with?

Well they weren’t as lucky. They were fucked with until the wee hours of the morning.



Terminal Lance “Obsessive Compulsive”

January 11, 2019

Oh… This explains a lot. Staff NCO’s can’t stand seeing even a speck of dirt, or uneven grass, or uneven lines in the sand. They will go out of their way to make sure every aspect of a Marine Corps installation is perfect, because all of them have intense, undiagnosed OCD (and potentially tourettes syndrome).

Why pay for therapy when you can just yell at Lance Corporals to make you feel better?

Terminal Lance connoisseurs will notice that this comic was previously published in the Marine Times. Terminal Lance is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment while I finish up my next major project. Fear not! Terminal Lance isn’t going anywhere, and new comics will return shortly.

Stay tuned for more news and official announcements by the end of the month…



Terminal Lance #525 “Mentorship”

August 3, 2018

As a Senior Lance Corporal of Marines, it is your duty to train the upcoming generation boots below you to survive at home and abroad. Don’t worry about teaching them tactical stuff, they learned all of that at SOI (LOL). What the Marines of today really need is someone to teach them how to avoid bullshit and cut corners in every day garrison life. These skills will be more valuable to them during their 4 years in the Corps than anything else you can teach them.

I had the great honor of being a guest speaker at a Lance Corporal Leadership and Ethics Seminar graduation last week at Camp Pendleton, where I told the Marines the importance of staying true to yourself (and how I believe that Lance Corporals are the dick and balls of the Corps, among other things). I asked the junior Marines what the course actually consisted of (since they didn’t have it while I was active duty) and they told me it was essentially a bunch of moto stuff about Corps Values, JJDIDTIEBUCKLE, etc.–yada, yada, yada. I suppose that’s about what I would have expected, but it is also disappointing. When I think of leadership and mentorship, I think of passing down realistic, practical, and essential knowledge and values rather than just repeating platitudes heard since boot camp over glazed over Lance Corporal eyes.

Last week I was also honored to receive the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Media Award for Terminal Lance at their national convention in Kansas City. Kansas City was cool, but extremely empty. The convention itself was cool, but got really weird when Trump showed up. Overall it was certainly a fun time and I’m grateful to have been nominated for the award. It’s been a busy month for me on a personal level, but having just relocated and settled into my new place in Santa Monica (with the help of some awesome young Marines from Camp Pendleton), I hope to be back in the regular swing of things for the foreseeable future.

Stay tuned, there’s plenty more to come.



Terminal Lance #501 “Everything New is Old Again”

January 23, 2018

To be honest, most of the things that happen in the Corps have little purpose other than to mess with you and keep you miserable. In reality, infantry Marines probably don’t really need to go to SOI at all. Well, the weapons MOS’s probably should learn some baseline stuff specific to their jobs like mortars and the soon-to-be-defunct Assaultmen; but the rest can and probably should just be taught on the fly. ITB and SOI teach you one set of skills that are rarely translated into the fleet, at least not specifically. I suppose there’s merit to doing the multitude of hikes across the alpha shelf of Camp Pendleton, but very little else is going to make it to your final destination.

When I arrived at 3/3 in Hawaii, I was told nearly this same thing.

Forget everything you’ve learned so far.

Well. Shit. I mean. That’s all I’ve got. The MCRD recruit depot doesn’t teach you how to do convoy operations in Iraq, nor does ITB–but that’s what I ended up doing when it mattered most. The idea of boot camp itself has shifted from being an actual training event to being more of a symbolic rite of passage. “Breaking you down” is more important for boot camp than any knowledge you’re taught. It’s worth noting, however, that there were actually Marines in the Korean War that never even went to boot camp, yet earned the title of Marine on the battlefield.

At the very least, I learned in boot camp that you can have pink eye in both eyes coupled with pneumonia all at once, and it fucking sucks.

On a sidenote, shout out to Bridgeport, where I’ll be freezing my balls off next week with the Marines in the field. As well, shout out to Publisher’s Weekly for giving the upcoming Terminal Lance Ultimate Omnibus some kind words, including comparing me to the legendary Bill Mauldin. I’m incredibly honored to be held in such high regard, and the Ultimate Omnibus is available April 24th in stores everywhere, preorder now!



Terminal Lance #475 “Bootcamp: Backed Up”

May 30, 2017

Interesting things happen to the human body when they go to Marine Corps bootcamp.

Your head will be shaven, you’ll be sick as hell for the entirety of your stay, and women even lose their periods for the span of three months upon arrival.

One of the things that usually goes unmentioned though, is that you will likely not shit for at least a week upon arrival to MCRD.

It seems I’m not the only person to experience this. For whatever reason, boot camp scares the shit out of you for at least a week or two.

Mostly, I think I was just terrified to try and get up and use the bathroom without getting yelled at by a sweaty dude in a campaign cover. I remember specifically not shitting until the nights settled down, as the first few nights of arriving to your platoon are filled with screaming Drill Instructors and sad ass fire watch recruits getting hazed hours into the morning. Once things finally quieted down, I snuck off into the bathroom, finally able to unload my bowels into the poor, doorless toilet bowl.

On an extremely unrelated note, remember that girl from The White Donkey? Well her and I are getting married. Taken by the amazing Gabor Szantai in London.



Terminal Lance #464 “LOL Boots V”

March 14, 2017

Traverse around any schoolhouse, smoke pit, working party or barracks balcony and you’re near guaranteed to find some skinny, nineteen year-old boot with a high and tight doing the signature frog voice with his hands on his hips, mimicking the Drill Instructors they just left behind months prior.

It’s a strange phenomenon, akin to some kind of Stockholm syndrome, wherein the new Marines feel inclined and take great entertainment in pretending to be drill instructors. You’ll see them with their knife-hands and their intensity, and every single one of them will find it funny every single time. This usually lasts for a few months to a year after leaving boot camp, and for some that never deploy, it could last their entire enlistment.

Boot camp is, more than anything else, the most commonly shared experience of all Marines, regardless of MOS or gender. No matter where you hail from, all recruits are treated equally as shit. As such, any Marine you talk to will have a boot camp story that you can identify with, no matter where your enlisted careers take you after the fact.

I’m sure someone more psychologically enlightened than myself could detail the mental intricacies involved with mimicking these authority figures, I feel as if it’s a reclamation of the 3 months of freedom lost.

Whatever the case may be, it’s annoying as fuck.

But then again, boots usually are.