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Terminal Lance Creator Feels 'Gross' After Marine Corps Shares His Video
The video is simple and light-hearted. A U.S. Marine lance corporal stands next to a Korean private first class. They introduce each other, then they both start beatboxing for about a minute.
Not surprisingly, it went viral after it was posted on the Terminal Lance Instagram, racking up more than 160,000 views. What was a surprise, however, was it being reposted on the official Marine Corps Facebook page with its 3.4 million fans.
Some commenters were interested by what appeared to be a collaboration between Headquarters Marine Corps and the unsanctioned-yet-beloved Terminal Lance web comic started in 2010 by former Marine Lance Cpl. Maximilian Uriarte.
It turns out it wasn't a collaboration at all.
"I wasn’t going to make it a big deal because I don’t own the video in the first place and, as social media goes, things get taken and reposted all the time," Maximilian Uriarte, the creator of the Terminal Lance web comic, told Task & Purpose.
"I appreciate that they tagged me," he added. "But it just makes me feel gross either way."
Soon after Uriarte posted the video, someone from the Corps' social media team reached out and asked if he could send them the video so it could be posted on the Corps' official social media channels. Though he only asked whether they would tag Terminal Lance and never explicitly gave them permission, he said, what made him far more uncomfortable was the thought that Marines beatboxing was considered fine, but other submissions he posts could potentially get Marines' careers ruined.
"What bothers me is the tumultuous history that I have with the Marine Corps punishing Marines for posting funny social media videos (on Terminal Lance)," Uriarte said. "I don’t know what constitutes a cute enough video to share on official channels and what is worth burning a Marine's career over."
He added: "Marines send me these things because I’ve spent years building up their trust and audience, and every day I get panicked Lance Corporals pleading with me to take down some video they sent the night before because their chain of command is trying to burn them," Uriarte said.
Indeed, about a week before the beatboxing video was sent in from South Korea, a different video was sent in and posted to Terminal Lance — with far different results.
This video, apparently shot on a cellphone, showed a Marine at what looked like a morale function or warrior night with other U.S. and Korean Marines. Yelling can be heard as the Marine in front of the camera shakes up a beer can and then smashes it on his head, spraying beer everywhere.
Immature? Sure. But outside the norm for a Marine grunt having fun with his fellow Marines? Hardly.
And yet after Uriarte posted that video, he received a number of panicked messages from other Marines in the unit. "We are losing our 96 [hour liberty] this weekend," one wrote. "If you could take it down you would save an entire battalion."
Another said the Marine in the video was likely getting non-judicial punishment for the stunt (the Marine in question did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Task & Purpose).
"The higher ups are giving us 48hrs or things will get stupid," another wrote.
"Their [battalion commander] held the battalion hostage threatening to cancel Thanksgiving libo until the video came down," Uriarte said. "Like what the fuck?"
Uriarte is well aware that the public affairs Marines running the social media channels are not the same people running fleet units that are getting pissed at Marines for appearing in what are essentially harmless videos.
But, he said, "The problem is unit leaders like this battalion commander frequently fuck over young Marines over my videos and content ... I just know what it feels like to be 19 and powerless in everything you do, so my sympathies are always with the Marines and never the Corps."
Maj. Brian Block, a Marine Corps spokesman, told Task & Purpose the context surrounding each social media posts varies, and so they are addressed on an individual basis.
"Marines should be aware that in a world connected via social media their conduct is visible to ever more people and that behavior has consequences," Block said. "The Marine Corps' expectation that Marines live up to our core values of honor, courage, and commitment has not changed, online or off."
An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told AL.com Thursday.
The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.
"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told Military.com on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."
Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.
"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."