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First Name: Burwell

Last Name: Bell

Birthplace: Oak Ridge, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Baxter

Date of Birth: 09 April 1947

Rank: General

Years Served: 1969 - 2008
Burwell Baxter Bell III


Burwell Baxter "B.B." Bell III
General, U.S. Army

Burwell Baxter Bell III was born on 9 April 1947 in Oak Ridge, TN, the son of B. B. Bell, Jr. and Mary R. Bell. He graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1965 and played high school football for the "Wildcats." He graduated from the University of Chattanooga (now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1969 with a degree in Business Administration. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. As a Distinguished Military Graduate of the University's ROTC Program, Bell was commissioned in the U.S. Army in June 1969 as a Second Lieutenant of Armor. Later, he received a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

During his military service, Bell completed the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; U.S. 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 1969-72, 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.

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 J-5, Joint Chiefs of Staff, also at the Pentagon. Additionally, he was a tank battalion Operations Officer in Korea and the Chief of Staff of 3rd Infantry Division in Würzburg, 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 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, TX. Bell deployed as General Schwarzkopf's Executive Officer in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Following Corps Command, Bell was promoted to four-star General and commanded the U.S. 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.

Medals, Awards & Tab

Defense Distinguished Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
National Defense Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Medal (Yugoslavia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Army Superior Unit Award
Ranger Tab


• Bell received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Maryland, University College

• Bell received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Keimyung University, South Korea

• Bell received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Tennessee

In Retirement

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.


Bell is married to Kathleen Fields of Chattanooga, TN. In retirement, they currently reside near Chattanooga. The Bells have one son, Buck, who lives in Florida with his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Jinny.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
Used initials of first and middle name.

Honoree ID: 187   Created by: MHOH




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