MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
As the enlisted Marines with Marine Attack Squadron 231 splashed about and tried to tip each others’ canoes, they didn’t seem to notice or care when officers slid past and cruised to victory during the squadron’s “Feats of Strength” competition, May 21.
It may not have seemed mission related as the Marines splashed in the Neuse River, however they were participating in a competition organized by squadron leaders to enhance the overall effectiveness of the unit. The AV-8B Harrier squadron initiated the monthly “Feats of Strength” competition to challenge Marines of the squadron outside of the work place.
“It’s good for the Marines to break away from the day-to-day monotony and get out and build camaraderie,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeffrey Stapleton, squadron maintenance material control officer.
Five teams took part in this month’s land-to-sea approach with a relay race on foot and by boat at Hancock Lodge. The five member teams represented: avionics shop, seat-shop, power line, ordnance, the administration shops and the unit officers.
The Marines began the race carrying their canoes from the starting point to the water’s edge.
It was there the race heated up. Before long, many teams shifted their focus from taking first place to sinking each other.
The controlled melee continued until officer team members exchanged high-fives on the shore in victory. The final four boats came in bottom up.
However, the rest of the competitors seemed to care little about placing. Sgt. Marcus Beeks, an aircraft electrical systems technician with VMA-231, said that his team’s main strategy was to stay afloat.
“Today was pretty awesome,” said Beeks, “We work hard together and play hard together.”