Terminal Lance #551 “Firewatch”

June 25, 2019

It’s that time of year again! The time when nearly every week there’s a new, major fire breaking out at Camp Pendleton. There’s something about the combination of dry, California brush with Marines firing machineguns and explosives that seems to really light up Camp Pendleton. Perhaps there’s some science behind it–who really knows?

Last week, Camp Pendleton was ablaze with its first major fire of the season. Of course, this isn’t anything that the base isn’t already used to, but it never stops Marines from hoping that maybe work will get canceled. Camp Pendleton fires are like the snow days of the Marine Corps for those stationed aboard the SoCal stronghold, with Lance Corporals secretly wishing the mountainous wilderness will burn down just enough (with no injuries, of course) that it cancels next week’s five day field-op that absolutely no one was looking forward to.

Of course, with the luck of the average Lance Corporal against him, it’s been an unusually cold and wet start to summer here on the west coast. Maybe if we send a platoon of grunts to sleep in the fire, we can cheat nature into putting the fire out with the inevitable rain cloud that follows them… It’s worth a shot, at least.



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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