Terminal Lance #563 “Bootcamp: Winners and Losers”

December 3, 2019

While it might seem cruel for a Drill Instructor to bet against his own recruits, I want to assure you it is only because they truly hate you and want you to fail. We make fun of Drill Instructors a lot around here–it’s hard not to, with their frog voices and often exaggerated character traits–but the life of a Drill Instructor is actually quite miserable in itself.

Herding a platoon of 60+, badly shaven and terribly odorous 18 year olds has to be among the worst jobs in America. I would call it similar to herding cats, except cats actually clean themselves and don’t spread pink eye and cellulitis to their owners (not discounting brain parasites). While the life of the recruit itself is certainly not something to admire in any context, imagine being the one responsible for keeping them in their constant state of misery. Sure it sucks to be woken up at 5am every morning by a sweaty, screaming rageaholic; but imagine waking up at 4:30 just so you can get dressed and go yell at these nasty bodies.

You are there day and night, from sunrise til sunset, the first and last thing they see… Like a kind of fucked up momma bird to a room full of plague rats.

Make no mistake, I admire them, but I do not envy the Drill Instructor.

It’s not their fault they’re so angry…

…You’d be too.



Terminal Lance “Assault Up”

January 9, 2018

This is bullshit. My MOS is getting phased out.

When Hope over at interviewed me for her breaking story, the first thing I thought to myself was: is this actually happening this time? For my entire enlistment, since the day I arrived at ITB West and tested for the 0351 MOS, I was told repeatedly that the Assaultman wasn’t going to be around much longer. Of course, this was written off as just being another Lance Corporal Underground rumor at the time, but it looks like it might actually happen now.

It’s bittersweet for me, I suppose. I loved the idea of shooting rockets at things and blowing stuff up with C4 on occasion, but we never really did it. During my first deployment to Iraq, myself and the rest of the Assault section were turned into a mounted platoon, where I sat atop an MRAP behind an M2 .50 cal machine gun. Needless to say, I wasn’t shooting rockets at anything.

They say it’s because they don’t need an entire MOS to shoot rockets… But I suspect they just don’t want some other pissed off 0351 Lance Corporal starting the next Terminal Lance.



Terminal Lance “Gangway 4th Phase!”

October 6, 2017

…Followed by “How to Not Wear a Backpack to the Mall.”

This is some obscure news that may or may not happen, but Task & Purpose reported the other day that the Corps is considering adding an extended ‘4th phase’ to boot camp’s “Marine Week,” to better prepare recruits for their next 4 years as a fucktoy Marine.

This is great, because freshly minted Marines on their 10 day boot leave has been a scourging eye sore to civilians across the country for years now. It’s about time we address the serious problem of fucking boots doing boot shit like walking around in high and tights and dog tags and spending all their saved up boot camp money on EGA tattoos and engagement rings. It seems that I can only do so much here, as no matter how many times I make fun of them, they don’t seem to change.

I’m split on whether or not this will help much of anything, as boots will be boots no matter what, and it’s also really unclear what the actual objective is. I recall “Marine Week” in my final week of boot camp as a rather unofficial affair where we were allowed to start referring to ourselves in the first person and address the drill instructors by their rank alone. It served little purpose other than to stop fresh Marines from going home and being unable to talk like a human to their own families, I guess.

It seems a little redundant to me simply because, straight from boot camp, you don’t go to the fleet. You go to your MOS school, where you’re treated like a dirty boot student, which really isn’t much better than being a recruit anyway.

On a side note, I was a guest on the We Are The Mighty podcast talking about the Terminal Lance Ultimate Omnibus and other rad stuff, and you should check it out here!



Terminal Lance #482 “Bootcamp: The Tornado”

July 11, 2017

Wow this got dark.

Being an alcoholic father is actually part of the training and prerequisites involved with being a Marine Corps Drill Instructor, so if you’re not used to getting your shit thrashed by an angry, sweaty man… You’re gonna learn.

It goes without saying that bootcamp fucking sucks. I mean, I think it’s supposed to. There’s a certain amount of masochism involved in wanting to be a Marine, since you know from day one it’s actually going to suck.

One of the favorites of the Drill Instructor is called the “tornado,” where they come into the squad bay and just start thrashing shit for no apparent reason and yell at you. It’s more inconvenient than anything else, which I think is the point, since you end up having to sort through all of your stuff and clean it up. Don’t be too surprised if you end up with someone else’s socks, canteens, or herpes, since most of your stuff is going to be intermixed basically every day.

Ya this is a daily thing, really.

I don’t think I could ever be a Drill Instructor. I just don’t drink enough, I guess.

In other news, we got some cool ass new gear at the official Terminal Lance Shop! Click the link to check it out.


There’s a lot up in the air right now and I’m just waiting on some stuff to fall back to the ground before I can make official announcements, but stay tuned… There’s plenty more cool stuff to come.



Terminal Lance #461 “Drill Instructor Academy”

February 28, 2017

Did you know that Drill Instructors have to go to Drill Instructor School? We’re led to believe it’s 12 weeks of grueling physical training designed to produce the sharpest, most physically perfected Marines to put in front of recruits. That’s what the brochure says, I’m sure; but my gut tells me there’s at least 2 weeks dedicated to learning colorful insults via improv classes in order to fully be able to verbally denigrate and dehumanize shaved 18 year olds.

I say this because Drill Instructors possess a unique and somewhat supernatural ability to come up with amazing insults on the fly. Some of the most brilliant strokes of verbal takedowns I ever witnessed were at the hands of my Drill Instructors, who always seemed to have some amazing amalgam of horrendous shit to scream into someone’s face on a whim.

As a comedy writer, I can tell you that this stuff doesn’t just happen. Someone, somewhere, is sitting in the duty hut writing down good insults and waiting for the right moment to use them. After all, nothing is more rewarding to a Drill Instructor than the perfect moment a recruit fucks up, allowing the profanities to flow from their mouths like vomit from a hungover Lance Corporal during morning PT.

I’ve always admired this about Drill Instructors. If nothing else, I think the quick wit involved with colorful insults and the ability to keep a straight face in the process would prevent me from every being able to professionally scream at people. To each their own, I suppose.

On a side note, I’m super excited to announce that The White Donkey was selected by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation to receive their James Webb award for 2017 for fiction.

If you’re unfamiliar with The White Donkey, it is my 250 page graphic novel about Abe and Garcia and their deployment to Iraq. It’s an easy read, I recommend it.




Terminal Lance #444 “Drill Foot”

October 18, 2016

In a line company, Platoon Sergeants and Commanders come and go. Unfortunately this means that you never really know where your next one is going to come from. Often times, you get stuck with some Staff Sergeant returning to the fleet after yelling at or lying to children for three years. (Drill Instructors and recruiters, respectively)

For what it’s worth, recruiters are usually the better option as far as your personal quality of life is concerned, they’re generally laid back and don’t give a shit about anything outside of running into one of their prior-recruitees.

As a Hawaii Marine, I was often told that Staff NCO’s that selected Hawaii as their permanent duty station were some of the worst, since it was generally seen as a relaxing holiday to be stationed there. Of course, worst is a general term, since it means the Staff NCO’s were relatively unmotivated compared to their peers. This was great for the lower enlisted, because it meant that for the few hours that they were around, they didn’t give a shit any more than we did.

When they weren’t around, they were probably surfing.

In other news, I happen to be on holiday in London at the moment. After much begging and haggling and oral sex, we were able to arrange a book signing tomorrow at Orbital Comics near Leicester Square!

If you’re around, come say what’s up. If you’re American, you’re legally required to be there. We’ll have books for sale at the event, but I’ll sign basically anything you put in front of me.




Terminal Lance #442 “Bootcamp: The Care Package”

October 4, 2016

Bootcamp is a shitty 3 months.

As if you don’t have enough to worry about with sweaty, angry men yelling at you 24 hours a day, you never know what might be lurking in a box some good-intentioned family member or friend sent your way.

Comedian Sarah Silverman panicked yesterday after realizing she may have made a grave mistake for her recruit nephew.

Of course, in reality he will most likely be fine, assuming she didn’t send a box of dildos (possible, being familiar with her comedy). Sadly though, her sudden panic is actually a result of reading headlines surrounding the abuse scandals apparent to Parris Island Recruit Depot. I’ve stayed away from the subject on Terminal Lance, for the most part because I hate reading the comments. Hard-charging keyboard warriors act as if being thrown into a dryer is a regular occurrence that all recruits must suffer (it’s not).

Even without such flagrant abuse, boot camp is arduous and mostly awful. I’ve said it before, but I would much rather go back to Iraq than do another 3 months at MCRD being treated like a recruit. I feel the worst for those poor kids that spend months in medical recovery, being treated like recruits for much longer than originally intended.

On a side note, Recruit Toms might become my goto recurring character for all matters pertaining to boot camp. After I finished drawing this strip, I realized the poolee in the third panel looked a lot like my rendition of Jodie. I wonder if perhaps this is his origin story–a failed recruit–a fallen angel of sorts.

Only time will tell, but in the meantime, don’t be a dick with your care packages (literally and figuratively).

On a sidenote, I’m still looking for content and creators! Email me at with something funny. Preference goes to Active Duty, but I’m open to anyone that is good.

I’m super happy to have the new site up and running! We’re still working out some kinks with the functionality on this end, but should be straightened out soon enough. Check out the new Opinions section by using the menu at the top of the page.