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.

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Terminal Lance “Hanukkah Miracle”

December 12, 2020

It’s officially the holiday season, a time for giving and reflection. This week saw the beginning of Hanukkah, and all four active duty Jewish Marines were probably in the field, because they don’t give Jewish holidays off.

I’ll never forget my first week in boot camp as a Jewish recruit. During one of the first weeks, on a Friday night, our drill instructor comes rushing into the squad bay and demands our attention. Eyeballs.

“Who here is Jewish?” he asked.

I was hesitant to say anything. If you’re Jewish, you’d understand. Historically, when the military comes around asking where the Jews are, it hasn’t gone well for us. However, I did speak up.

“This recruit, sir,” I responded, along with one other recruit.

“Come with me,” he said as he lead us out of the squad bay.

We had no idea where he was taking us. It’s bootcamp, so Friday and every other day of the week blend together.

He took us to a small temple across the way from the exorbitant football stadium-sized MCRD San Diego base church, where a Rabbi led Friday night Shabbat service. Myself and my newfound Hebrew battle buddy were surrounded by a small gathering of other yarmulke-clad recruits and civilian old ladies that enjoyed spending their Friday nights with the recruits. They were actually the best, because they felt sorry for us, and brought us a smattering of cookies and other goodies while we were tucked away from the drill instructors and other recruits.

Being Jewish in boot camp ended up being a profound hook up, because we’d get to spend Friday nights away from the squad bay, and Sunday mornings were left alone while everyone else went to church. During the Camp Pendleton phase, we even got whisked away one Friday for a special beach service at Camp Del Mar, where one civilian Jewish girl let us use her cell phone to call home.

Happy Hanukkah, Marines.



Terminal Lance #567 “Callsigned”

January 7, 2020

As I said in the very first comic I ever did, 10 years ago now, no one gets to pick their own nicknames. You watch movies like Top Gun or whatever and you think you’re going to end up with some badass name like ICEMAN, or GRIM REAPER… Instead you end up with FUCKHEAD, because the ONE TIME you forgot your NVG’s and the whole platoon had to spend a night looking for them in the field. They never forget.

Iran ain’t ready for Dad-Bod Actual.

Speaking of…

Shit is going crazy as I type.

There’s a lot going on right now in the military sphere, thanks to all of the insanity in the Middle East at the moment. All I can hope for is that the Marines and other service members stationed abroad are staying safe and looking out for each other.

In other news… Sunday was the 10th Anniversary of Terminal Lance. As I mentioned over the various social media channels, I could have never predicted as a Lance Corporal in Hawaii that TL would become the phenomenon that it has. I legitimately thank all of the Lance Corporals across the Corps for the love and support over the years, and look forward to more to come.

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Today, January 5th, marks the 10th birthday of Terminal Lance. In 2010, when I began this comic endeavor from Marine Corps Base Hawaii, I could have never known the impact it would have on the Marine Corps in the years to come, and the impact it would have on me as a person. This strip and the online community it has fostered over the years has taken me to places I would have never dreamed of, and I owe it all to the Marines that have read it for the last decade. Terminal Lance is and has always been about the Marines that read it. From day one, the goal of Terminal Lance has always been to give the lower enlisted Lance Corporals of the Marine Corps a voice. Much to the dismay of some higher-ups, I'm sure, I think we have succeeded. Funny comics, videos, pictures and stories from Lance Corporals across the Corps might seem arbitrary at this point, but believe it or not, there was no Terminal Lance before Terminal Lance. There wasn't a place for Marines to laugh with each other from all over the world, from every base and every place. Terminal Lance changed things, and there's no going back. Thank you all for giving me an opportunity to make you laugh… And stay tuned, there's more Terminal Lance to come. #terminallance #usmc #marines #marinecorps #military

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As for the Duty Doodle contest, look forward to the winners on Friday… Stay tuned.



Terminal Lance #532 “Dummy Cord”

October 16, 2018

You’ll probably lose quite a few things while you’re in the Marine Corps. Your Goretex jacket, those weird black leather gloves that CIF gives you for some reason, your dignity and sense of shame, etc. Once they’re gone, it’ll take a crew of many Marines to search and scour for them. If those things are found, you’d better believe you’ll be busting out that 550 cord and wrapping it around a rock (or something) to drag around with you for at least a good few days.

The dummy-corded rock is a common practice within the Corps. The idea is, if you have to do something as stupid, childish, and annoying as drag around a rock for a few days, you’re much less likely to make the same mistake in the future. It’s fuck-fuck games 101, taught to all Lance Corporal squad leaders and up within their first year of getting to the fleet (or the first time they lose a piece of serialized gear).

If you find yourself with a pet rock… Know that it’s probably your own fault and you deserve it.

As well, you’d better remember that rock’s serial number when asked, or we’ll be playing games all night. Good to go?



Terminal Lance “The Suck Sucks”

August 17, 2018

Don’t give them ideas, because they’re always looking for ways they can make your life worse. By “they” I mean your command, and by your command I mean literally anyone that’s in charge of you.

Marines (and other branches) are often known colloquially as “brothers in arms,” which is an apt description of the familial relationship that Marines have with each other. They love each other, but also low-key hate each other and kind of want to see them suffer any chance they can. If you’ve ever had a brother, you know what I’m talking about. I suppose that’s why they don’t call Marines “cousins in arms.” Also probably so the Marines from Alabama don’t start trying to fuck each other.

Never forget, it could always be better too.



Terminal Lance #527 “Herding Cats”

August 14, 2018

Marines are a special breed of animal. They call themselves “Devil Dogs,” but really, they’re more like cats. They can sleep anywhere and on anything, skulk around at night looking for something to mate with, and can’t really be controlled by their masters. Just when you think you have them where you want them, they go and do something strange and unusual as soon as you turn your head.

I say we change Teufel Hunden to Widerspenstige Katze, or “Unruly Cat” according to Google Translate.

I know for a fact that every staff NCO and officer truly believes that Marines in the field are Marines out of trouble. While yes, they aren’t getting DUI’s, strippers pregnant, or causing a ruckus out in town; they’re surely up to no good in some way or another.

Marines are trained to fight trouble, and if they don’t have trouble to fight, they’ll make their own.

Just do me a solid and film it and send it over to the Terminal Lance Instagram page for the entertainment of others.



Terminal Lance #526 “Good Eats”

August 10, 2018

MRE Menu item 23 has been in development for some 30 years, as scientists scoured the earth to find the right ingredients to make the saddest slice of pizza they could imagine. With a lot of hype, the lauded and dreamlike pizza MRE became a reality this year. This is an actual photo of it:

The Pizza MRE

How sad is the life of a Lance Corporal that this is something people are excited about? When your whole world is shit, the person beating you can give you a piece of candy and you’ll think he’s a really nice guy. It’s like being excited that Buffalo Bill is giving you lotion to put on your skin, because the dirt down here really dried you out. Marines are so elated to eat this thing that it should tell you more about the conditions of being a Marine and less about the quality of the pizza. You’re basically getting leftover refrigerator pizza that’s able to survive at room temperature for 3 years.

With that said, being a Marine sucks, so any bit of goodness is a welcome addition to the lexicon of MRE culinary tricks. Throw some Tabasco and jalapeño cheese spread on that bitch and eat your feelings in the field.



Terminal Lance #499 “The Awakening”

November 14, 2017

No one ever wants to wake up in the field.

Your dreams will often lull you into sweet fantasies of being back home, out on the town, in bed with beautiful women, or really just anywhere but where you actually are. Waking up is the last thing you want to do, because really anywhere is better than here.

You hear the dreadful siren call of Reveille from the mouth of some boot you put on firewatch and you try to convince yourself–even just for a second–that it’s not real.

…But it is.

The rain starts to fall and you become aware of with the smell of the wilderness, the lingering odor of gunpowder from the rifle barrel next to your face, and 45 unwashed Marines filling your nostrils. You’re cold and all of it is shit.

Rise and shine.

You’ve got 15 minutes to piss and brush your teeth.

On a sidenote, I’ll be dropping by Camp Pendleton this weekend for a meet and greet and book signing. Stand by for the details!



Terminal Lance #489 “The Firewatch List”

August 25, 2017

The firewatch list is a necessary evil of each night a platoon spends in the field. One must be on firewatch at all times, and the smartest Marines know that first and last firewatch are by far the best slots on the list. Opposite of this, the middle and second-to-last spaces are by far the worst.

If you have first or last firewatch, it simply means that you either go to bed an hour later than everyone else or wake up an hour earlier. This is great, because the extra hour at night can be used to get your gear in order for the night. The morning just as much, since it gives you a leg-up on everyone else by already having your boots on when Reveille sounds.

The middle is the worst, because it interrupts your entire night, giving you only a few hours of sleep on each end. Second-to-last watch is a cruel joke, given only to the Marines you hate the most. Always be wary of boot Marines that volunteer to take charge of a group of boots. They usually have the sharpest skates, since leadership roles often involve less physical work than that of subordinates.

To abruptly change the subject, I’d like to give a huge thank you to the USMC Combat Correspondents Association for bestowing upon me their prestigious Denig Award in San Diego on Wednesday for my work with Terminal Lance and The White Donkey. It was truly an honor and I had a great time hanging out with all of the Marines that attended the event.

Oorah devil doges.

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Terminal Lance #484 “MRE Chef”

July 21, 2017

When you spend enough time in the field, eventually the entire MRE menu becomes a bit of a bore. This is when it’s important to have an MRE chef in your squad that can mix and match the tepid ingredients of the meals to make 5-star concoctions for you.

There’s always at least one guy that swears he can make an MRE taste amazing. This usually involves little more than pouring the entire salt packet and mini tabasco bottle into the mix and declaring themselves Iron Chef of the platoon. Other common mixes usually involve the chocolate peanut butter packet thrown into basically anything else sweet, or perhaps adding jalapeño cheese to one of the main courses! 😱

No matter what though, there’s not actually much you can do to save an MRE from itself. Despite how much they might try to lure you with the promise of Skittles and chocolate peanut butter M&M’s, MRE’s are meant to be consumed rather than enjoyed.

More importantly, someone should figure out the recipe to get the MRE’s out of your butthole without damaging it.