Unit has 30,000 accident-free flight hours

William "Woody" Woodall, a local Boeing manager, presents an award to VMA-231 commanding officer Lt.

William "Woody" Woodall, a local Boeing manager, presents an award to VMA-231 commanding officer Lt. Col. Shawn Hermley, in recognition of the squadron having 30,000 accident-free flight hours of operation on Monday afternoon at Cherry Point.

Drew C. Wilson
Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 08:19 AM.

It’s an ethos, passed from one generation to the next, and Gunnery Sgt. Jeffery Bean has been around for most of it.

That’s how Marine Attack Squadron 231 earns distinctions like the one the unit received Monday at Cherry Point.

Boeing presented an award to the men and women of VMA-231 for having 30,000 accident-free flight hours. Local Boeing manager William “Woody” Woodall made the presentation to the unit commanding officer, Lt. Col. Shawn Hermley.

The honor is one that took more than a decade to accomplish, and Bean has been a part of the squadron for the last 15 years.

“It means a lot,” Bean said of the award. “It means that for the last 10 years the Marines have really been concentrating on trying to do the job the right way. Doing things the right way the first time makes the difference. And the staff and (commanding officer) and leadership of the squadron instill that in the young Marines as the turnovers happen throughout the years. When the next group comes in, they have the ethos, those values that they pass on to the next group, and it continues to carry on.”

Maj. Ryan Hough, a pilot of one of the squadron’s AV-8B Harriers, said Bean’s leadership made the award possible.

“He was raised with the institutional culture of 231 and has been passing it on as the staff NCO really since 2005,” he said. “He’s been passing it on, and when he moves on, the Marines that he’s been training will step in and train the next generation.”

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