Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Burwell B Bell III

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Years of service  1969–2008
Rank  General

Name  Burwell Bell
Burwell B. Bell III httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons11

Born  April 9, 1947 (age 68)Oak Ridge, Tennessee (1947-04-09)
Allegiance  United States of America
Commands held  U.S. Army Armor Center and Ft. KnoxIII CorpsU.S. Army Europe and NATO's Allied Land ComponentU.S. Forces Korea and Korean/U.S. Combined Forces Command
Awards  Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)Army Distinguished Service MedalDefense Superior Service MedalLegion of Merit (5 Awards)Bronze Star MedalMeritorious Service Medal (2 Awards)
Education  University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Oak Ridge High School

Service/branch  United States Army

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


Early life and education

Bell was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the son of Burwell B. Bell, Jr His father was a West Point graduate who worked in government nuclear facilities at Oak Ridge. Bell is the great-great-grandson of Arkansas Governor Henry Massie Rector and Mississippi Governor and Senator James L. Alcorn. He graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1965 and played high school football for the "Wildcats". 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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (USAEUR) 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'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.

Personal life

Gen. Bell is married to his college sweetheart, the former Kathleen Fields from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Gen. Bell remains active with the Department of Defense in a high level command Senior Mentor role, while also writing media columns and speaking on national security matters around the world.The Bells have one son.

On September 6, 2016 along with two other retired four-star generals, and 88 retired US military flag officers, he endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.


Burwell B. Bell III Wikipedia