Military Wiki
General (retired) Burwell B. Bell III
Born April 9, 1947(1947-04-09) (age 75)
Place of birth Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1969-2008
Rank General
Commands held U.S. Army Armor Center and Ft. Knox
III Corps
U.S. Army Europe and NATO's Allied Land Component
U.S. Forces Korea and Korean/U.S. Combined Forces Command
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards)

Burwell Baxter (B. B.) Bell III (born April 9, 1947) is a retired U.S. Army four-star general.[1]

Early life and education

Bell was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the son of Burwell B. Bell, Jr. and Mary R. Bell. His father was a West Point graduate who worked in government nuclear facilities at Oak Ridge.[2] He graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1965 and played high school football for the "Wildcats".[3] In 1969 he graduated from the University of Chattanooga (now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity,[4] with a degree in Business Administration. As a Distinguished Military Graduate of the university's ROTC Program, Bell was commissioned in the U.S. Army in June 1969 as an Armor/Tank 2nd Lieutenant. Later, he received a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. Over the years, Bell also received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the University of Maryland, University College; Keimyung University, South Korea; and the University of Tennessee.

U.S. Army service

During his military service, Bell completed the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College. He is also completed the Army's Ranger School where he was awarded the Ranger Tab.

From 1969 to 1972 Bell spent his initial assignment in the Army with the 3d Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bad Hersfeld, Germany. During this initial three-year period of service during the Cold War, he led units patrolling the Iron Curtain between East and West Germany.

During his 39 year active duty career, Bell's command positions included L Troop, 3d Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment; D troop, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron; the 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized); and the 24th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team. From June 1995 through August 1996 and as a Brigadier General, he served as an Assistant Division Commander in both the 3d and 1st Infantry Divisions located at Warner Barracks in Bamberg, Germany. As a Major General he commanded the U.S. Army Armor Center and Fort Knox from July 1999 through August 2001 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. As a Lieutenant General, Bell commanded the Army's III Corps from August 2001 to November 2002, headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas. Following Corps Command, Bell was promoted to four-star general and commanded the United States Army, Europe and 7th Army, as well as NATO's Land Component Command, Heidelberg, Germany. On completion of his command assignments in Europe, in 2006 Bell was reassigned to South Korea where he commanded U.S. Forces, Korea, the Korea — U.S. Combined Forces Command, and the United Nations Command. Following his Command of forces in Korea, Bell retired from the Army in August 2008.

Bell's staff positions include service as an ROTC instructor at Texas Tech University; Force Plans Analyst for the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans in the Pentagon; and Joint Staff Officer responsible for the Unified Command Plan in the J5, Joint Chiefs of Staff, also in the Pentagon. Additionally, he was a tank battalion Operations Officer in Korea and the Chief of Staff of 3rd Infantry Division in Würzburg, Germany. From August 1996 to July 1999 he served as Chief of Staff of V Corps, and as DCSOPS and subsequently Chief of Staff, United States Army, Europe and 7th Army.

In 1994 Bell served as a Senior Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, and has since been selected as a serving member on the Council. Bell deployed as General Schwarzkopf's Executive Officer in Desert Shield and Desert Storm; and later served as Chief of Staff, USAREUR Forward Headquarters, Taszar, Hungary during Operation Joint Endeavor in the Balkans.

Bell is married to the former Kathleen Fields of Chattanooga, Tennessee. In retirement, they currently reside near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bell continues to work part-time for the Department of Defense in a high level command Senior Mentor role, while also writing media columns and speaking on national security matters. The Bells have one son, Buck, who lives in Florida with his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Jinny.

Awards and decorations

Bell's awards include:

Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg Army Distinguished Service Medal
US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with four Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Montgomery C. Meigs
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
Succeeded by
David D. McKiernan
Preceded by
Leon Laporte
Commanding General of Combined Forces Command, US Forces Korea, United Nations Command
Succeeded by
Walter Sharp

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