Terminal Lance #517 “Boot Camp: Medical Bench Commandos”

May 29, 2018

When you arrive aboard the beautiful Marine Corps Recruit Depot of San Diego or Parris Island, you’ll inevitably make a trip over to Medical at some point during your short recruit tenure. There you will find the cretins of the medical bench. These pale, broken and sickly recruits are frequent flyers of the bench, and seem to know all of the secrets and life hacks to getting a medical discharge, should you require it.

Well, they say they do at least, but it hasn’t seemed to help them much. It doesn’t seem to stop them from insisting that they do. What’s funny is that these guys are so ubiquitous, that my recruiter even warned me about these guys before I got there. I’ll admit, I had every wish of getting the fuck out of that depot the day I got there.

But try these methods at your own peril, for should it not go in your favor, you could end up MRP (Medical Recovery Platoon) for an extended stay. As they say during your orientation, the fastest way out of boot camp is simply to graduate on time. Stick it out, get yelled at, play the game, beat the game, unlock the hidden outfits, etc.



Terminal Lance #497 “The Little End”

October 24, 2017

As a Marine that’s over 6 feet tall, I just want to give a special shout out to the little end:

Fuck you and I hate you all.

For whatever reason, short people are terrible at marching in formation. How do I know this? Well, I gathered this expert opinion during my 3 months aboard MCRD San Diego, where I was repeatedly yelled at by sweaty, angry men because the people behind me were fucking everything up.

Formation in boot camp is organized by height, and as a tall guy, this meant I was at the front of the formation for most of the time. As such, I was never able to physically see what was going on in the rear of the formation, but I could see other platoons. The little end is always shit, their small legs trying desperately to keep up with the marching pace of those in front of them. They diddy-bop and do basically whatever the fuck they want because they secretly despise taller people for their blessed height.

So to the little end, if you’re reading this… You suck.

On an unrelated note, Thank You For Your Service comes out this Friday in theaters everywhere. Writer and director Jason Hall (also screenwriter for American Sniper) sat down with myself and Paul Szoldra of Duffel Blog in our latest podcast episode of After Action. Click here to check it out!



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 #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 #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.