We’ve pulled another “Terminal Lance” strip from the Marine Corps Times archive. “Vigilance” first appeared in the issue dated June 27, 2011, and includes, in my opinion, one of TL creator Max Uriarte’s most outstanding depictions of the infamous — or dreaded? — knife-hand.
This strip calls to mind a cover story we did back in 2010 examining the Lance Corporal Underground’s growing presence on the web. Max, not then a contributor to Marine Corps Times, was interviewed for that article, which includes (tragically) the newspaper’s only known reference to the term “knife-hand” — references to the title of Max’s book notwithstanding.
While reporting from the 2010 Sergeants Major Symposium, we documented a discussion, led by Master Gunnery Sgt. Byron Bissessar, about the perceived need for vigilance (there’s that word again) as Marines’ use of Facebook and other social media was becoming more prevalent. An excerpt from the story:
A page appeared on Facebook this year for “Sgt. Maj. Knife-hand,” a reference to a martial arts strike. The profile used the likeness of a senior enlisted Marine, and made lighthearted references about traveling to other countries. The page created problems because its humorous intent could be twisted.
“If they can create a profile about you and you don’t catch it, and they start making statements using your photograph, they can create havoc,” Bissessar told senior enlisted Marines at the symposium. “They can make political statements, like Sgt. Maj. Knife-hand. All it takes is someone from one of these other foreign countries, one of these fanatic agencies to say, ‘Hey, the Marine Corps is making fun of us.’
… The Corps was notified by “various leadership” that the Sgt. Maj. Knife-hand page was potentially problematic, and could be removed due to a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, which say users must not misrepresent themselves with profiles they post. The Corps notified Facebook … and the page was removed within days.
We understand the Master Guns’ point, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also enjoy a good laugh from seeing real knife-hands in action. Exhibit A:
If you’ve got photos or videos like this one, email them to us: firstname.lastname@example.org. If we get enough good ones, we’ll share them here on Battle Rattle.