Photo Information

Capt. Matthew “C.L.O.W.N.” Krivohlavy, a pilot for Marine Attack Squadron 231, puts on his game face before the squadron’s Christmas-themed Feats of Strength competition in front of their hangar Dec. 5

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

VMA-231 performs monthly contest with holiday twist

15 Dec 2011 | Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

Marine Attack Squadron 231 Marines competed for honor and glory Dec. 5 in the squadron’s Christmas edition of their monthly Feats of Strength competition.

Competitors sprinted full tilt 50 feet to set up their Christmas tree and then run back to the starting point while attempting to balance a glass of milk on their heads. Waiting at the start point, a teammate dressed as Santa Claus wolfed down a dozen cookies with milk to wash them down. With full stomachs, the teammates then sprinted back to the tree with ornaments in hand to decorate the tree, the clock only stopping when the decorations were complete.

Two minutes, seven seconds was the winning time with the power line shop Marines edging out the air frames Marines by three seconds..

“I didn’t really feel any pressure, I was just a little scared that I wouldn’t be fast enough. But it turned out I was pretty fast,” said Lance Cpl. Sean M. Bellville, an airframes technician for VMA-231. “I thought it was really funny, trying to balance the cup on my head and keep it in the cup, but it was splashing all over me.”

Bellville and his teammates finished second, but regardless of winning or losing, he said they had a good time.

“It’s going to help bring us all together and have a little fun as a squadron,” Bellville said. “Get to know each other a little bit. Learn what we lack and what we’re strong in and improve on anything that needs improving or just have fun.”

Mixing together work and play in a Feats of Strength competition is fairly new for the squadron.

“The goal was to break up the monotony that comes with day-to-day maintenance on aircraft,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey A. Stapleton, a maintenance material control officer for VMA-231. “The Feats of Strength competition is still in the beginning stages. We’ve only done this for three or four months now. So far, it’s been a pretty good turn out.”

Though it was all fun and games, the events hold the practical purpose of improving the abilities of the squadron.

“These guys are constantly working around each other,” said Stapleton. “They need to know and trust each other that they’re doing the right thing and jobs are being done the right way so we’re putting safe aircraft in the sky for the pilots to train in.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point