Terminal Lance is never wrong.

Concerning the subject of Terminal Lance there are two types of Marines. The first are those who think it’s an absolutely hilarious take on the lance corporal perspective. The other type are utterly insulted someone would dare publish such an irreverent depiction on life in “their” Corps.

As I’ve noted before, in my days as a lance we were always mystified by our SNCOs lack of humor regarding the absurdity of our miserable existence. How was it not funny? Our brand of humor was considered disrespectful and I can’t tell you how many times I was chewed out for being a “wise ass” lance corporal.

During my time as a young Leatherneck I thought being a Marine was like being a Jedi: “Logic? Heh. Common sense? Heh. A Jarhead craves not these things. You must unlearn all that you have learned.” Often enough it still feels that way. I like to ask young Marines if they think they deal with stupid stuff. When they say yes I assure them it only gets dumber the more rank they put on their collar.

A friend of mine who used to head up one of the SNCO Academies liked to hold guided discussions concerning the web comic. He noted it always seemed like the bottom 15% of his students were the most vocal detractors of Terminal Lance. When individuals became heated in their opposition to such blatant on line disrespect of SNCO leadership my friend would respond: “Why, because it’s true?”

When he was still Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, I talked to SgtMaj Mike Barrett about the phenomena of Terminal Lance. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him say: “You know, he’s never been wrong.”

I like to boast Max Uriarte was one of my Marines in H&S Company 3/3. Then I wonder at the wisdom of saying that as I brace myself to browse his latest strip. Fortunately my ego isn’t fragile enough to take offense every time Terminal Lance mocks poor leadership or points out aspects of military life which are incomprehensible.

One final note. My CO recently told his wife to stop quoting Doctrine Man and read Terminal Lance instead: “Doctrine Man is just a disgruntled Army officer,” he told her. “Lance Corporals are always funny.”

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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  1. They’re both great for different reasons.

    Doctrine Man is great because he discusses the day-to-day challenges facing the military in our current operational and governmental environment.

    Terminal Lance is great because he discusses universal truths of military service. Cincinnatus would recognize some of the cartoons.

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