Terminal Lance #571 “The Promotion Ceremony”

January 31, 2020

There’s never more pressure than being the center of attention in a promotion ceremony. Your entire company is gathered, all Marines present and accounted for. They stand menacingly at the position of attention, their faces locked forward, but their eyes locked on you. Your senior Lance Corporals told you repeatedly not to fuck it up. They told you four times to salute, give the greeting of the day, and accept the red folder. Right-face, forward-march, be on your way.

To all who shall see these presents, greetings awkwardly comes out of your First Sergeant’s mouth… It’s happening.

You salute, greet your company commander, accept the promotion warrant, get pinned, and you’ve nearly finished… And then it happens. The simplest move in all of the Marine Corps drill manual… A right-face.

…You go left.

Do you about-face? Do you just roll with it? Walk the opposite direction? Are you going to get hazed by your senior Lance Corporals for embarrassing them in front of the entire company? yes

It’s a high-stakes, high-pressure situation, to be sure.

Luckily, if you’re anything like me, you’ll only have to do it once.



Terminal Lance #522 “All Of The Weather”

July 13, 2018

The most under appreciated issued uniform item is definitely the All-Weather Coat. It is so under appreciated, in fact, that to this day I have never actually taken the tag off of mine. However, did you know that you can wear it with any uniform? Even in civilian clothes! How rad is that?

It is so rad, that I am formally asking all of you to wear yours to formation, out in town, in the barracks, or wherever else you can, and send me photos. The best pictures will be featured on the Terminal Lance Instagram, and you will be the legend I always knew you could be. I want to see those Inspector Gadget jackets. I know they’re just sitting in your wall locker, so let’s put them to good use! The best one may even win a prize…

On a related note, I am going to be totally honest here: I’ve never actually read a Marine Corps Order prior to looking this one up for the comic strip. As a grunt in the Corps, I figured Marine Corps Orders were POG shit that I never needed to look at. I was totally right, because much like my All-Weather Coat, I went 4 straight (questionable) years without ever actually looking at one. I spent this afternoon trying to figure out the difference between a MARADMIN, ALMAR and MCO.

Spoiler alert: There’s no difference and it totally doesn’t matter, so don’t waste your time.

On a very unrelated note, check out this CBS radio episode feature myself and Duffel Blog creator Paul Szoldra if you want to hear some dope shit.



Terminal Lance “Little Blue Birdy with a Little Blue Bill”

July 28, 2017

Oh, you didn’t get the word?

The President announced sweeping military policy changes on Wednesday, via Twitter, regarding transgender service members. Beginning, uh… Sometime… Transgender service members will no longer be allowed in the military full-stop. This came as a total shock to the Department of Defense itself, as Secretary of Defense Mattis was on vacation, and General Dunford–the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff–put out a memo stating that no policy changes would occur until they received direction from the White House.

“I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the president,” Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a memo to military leaders. “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” Dunford added.

Regardless of how you feel on the subject, I think it’s safe to say that Twitter probably isn’t the military’s first choice as far as passing down important word goes.

I brought up my own personal feelings on the subject on Wednesday, to which many maligned and disagreed–a few even quite respectfully–but I stand by what I said. Of course, Terminal Lance is always apolitical, but I feel like it would be strangely out of character for me to completely ignore a massive policy change that directly affects the entire United States Armed Forces.

The trans issue is unique in that, while it’s comparable in theory to homosexuals openly serving and even desegregation, it actually involves real logistics in regards to medical costs and confusing gray areas with PT standards and co-ed training. It is my personal belief that these are pretty easily solved and mostly innocuous issues to get hung up on, considering the very small number of trans service members currently active duty (about 5,000).

My solution is quite simple, and one that I’ve argued for in the past:

Remove all gender-based standards. A singular PFT that all must pass–male or female–to do the job required of a Marine… Any Marine.

Yes, you will lose a lot of weaker females (and males) and otherwise, but you will end up with a stronger military as a whole. It is the only real solution to both the transgender paradox and women in the infantry.

For the record, I refuse to shy away from subjects for fear of partisan backlash. If Terminal Lance and myself did things the same way as everyone else, it wouldn’t exist. So I’m gonna keep doing what I do, and you are welcome to go read content that doesn’t offend you.