CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – Enlisted Marines everywhere were stunned this week after learning that the creator of enlisted-life comic strip Terminal Lance is actually former Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Carlton Kent.
The story broke after an alert data specialist at Camp Lejeune noticed that the IP address for the Terminal Lance website was actually the same one used by the retired sergeant major's work computer.
Upon being questioned by a Duffel Blog investigative reporter, Sgt. Maj. Kent admitted that he had created the comic and was continuing to post weekly updates on the Terminal Lance website.
According to the Sgt. Maj., he came up with the idea back in 2009 with then-Commandant, Gen. James Conway.
"We'd been getting a shitload of negative feedback over all the safety briefs we were subjecting our Marines to," said Kent. "I mean, you can only listen to so many of the fuckers before you just tune them out."
"But you devil dogs wanna keep crashing your brand-new crotch rocket motorcycles that you just bought with 18% APR and then killing yourselves after your wife leaves you cause you're 20 grand in the hole and eating dog food every night. So bottom line is we needed a new way to reach out."
"I said to General Conway, 'Man, it would be fucking great if we just had some comic that all the E-3's read, and we could just insert our messages into that.' Conway looks at me and says 'Shit yeah, Sergeant Major, I think you've got something there'. And so the idea for Terminal Lance was born."
According to Sgt. Maj. Kent, writing under a pen name was essential.
"No one's gonna listen to dumb ole' Sergeant Major, especially the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, but they will listen to a fellow Lance Corporal, so that's who I had to pretend to be. 'Maximilian Uriarte' is actually an anagram for 'Do Your Leading Marines MCI'. I'm amazed no one caught it earlier. Then we hired some combat camera guy as our front man and made a bunch of videos of him with his nuts hanging out."
While most of the strips are routine 'enlisted-life-sucks,' Kent does point to some key issues.
"Don't Ask Don't Tell was a big one," he says. "We had all kinds of polling saying that Marines were dead-set against repeal, and that doesn't make us look good. So we ran a strip saying the Marine Corps is already gay, so what's the difference if it's open? Then just before the repeal we put out a strip about how gay Marines wouldn't be letting our boots dress so stupid, because everybody hates a stupid boot. End result: we've got gay Marines serving loud and proud and no one's complaining!"
Kent said he was currently working on the recent media scandals involving Marines.
"We've got one where we make fun of all the bullshit Nazi-wannabes, cause nothing changes behavior faster than public ridicule. We also did one after the pissing incident, where we just reminded Marines not to put shit on YouTube, because even I like to piss in a dead Taliban's mouth once in a while."
The retired sergeant major also detailed the possibility the strip might branch out to other ranks.
"Let's face it, we have a lot of stupid lieutenants out there. Maybe we can get Abe and Garcia a lieutenant who's a total jack-off and teach our lieutenants proper command techniques through him."
For all his success, Kent was unsure about the long-term survival of Terminal Lance.
"I've been trying to get Sergeant Major Barrett into it, but he just doesn't have the right mindset. He tried doing one the other day where Abe's feeling suicidal and calls the DStress hotline. Come on, you know that shit wouldn't happen," Kent said.
"Abe would call it because he's drunk dialing and winds up hitting on the operator, and says he's going to kill himself if she doesn't come over and blow him. Fuck, anything that gets Marines to put that number in their phone, right?"