Bell, Col. Tom - ROTC

Col Tom Bell
Col (retired) Tom Bell
(828) 654-1776

Colonel Bell entered active duty in 1984 and received his Reserved Officers’ Training Corps commission as a second lieutenant at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y.  He has served as a MC-130E instructor, flight examiner, group standardization evaluator navigator, MC-130H instructor navigator, flight commander, assistant deputy commander for operations, Deputy Commander and Commander of an operational test detachment. He was a master navigator with more than 3,700 flight hours in the MC-130E/H, C-130E/H and T-43A. Colonel Bell retired 1 Sep 2010.



1984         Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics, Manhattan College, Riverdale, N.Y.

1991         Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

1994         Master of Science degree in management, Troy State University (Florida Region)

1997         Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2005         Air War College, by correspondence

2007         Master’s degree in strategic studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.


  1. October 1984 – June 1985, undergraduate navigator training, 452nd Flight Training Squadron, Mather AFB, Calif.
  2. January 1986 – December 1987, navigator, 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron, Clark AB, Philippines
  3. December 1987 – April 1994, navigator, instructor navigator/flight examiner, 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
  4. April 1994 – May 1995, group standardization evaluator navigator, 16th Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
  5. May 1995 – February 1998, Chief, Tactical Airlift Assignment Section; and special operations assignment officer, Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, Texas
  6. July 1998 – July 2000, navigator, flight commander, and Assistant Director of Operations, 7th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England
  7. August 2000 – April 2001, formal school instructor navigator and Assistant Director of Operations, 550th Special Operations Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
  8. May 2001 – July 2002, Chief, Battlespace Employment Division, Headquarters Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
  9. August 2002 – October 2003, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center liaison officer/combatant commanders requirements officer, Headquarter Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Norfolk Naval Base, Va.
  10. October 2003 – April 2005, Chief, Operating Location, Hurlburt Florida, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
  11. May 2005 – July 2006, Deputy Commander, Detachment 2, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
  12. July 2006 – May 2007, student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  13. June 2007 – August 2009, Commander, Detachment 2, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Eglin AFB, Fla.
  14. August 2009 – August 2010, Chief, Lessons Learned Division, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas

Rating:              Master navigator

Flight hours:    3,700+

Aircraft:            MC-130E/H, C-130E/H, and T-43A



Meritorious Service Medal with seven oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters

National Defense Service Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal with two devices

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air and Space Campaign Medal

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait)



1984 Distinguished Graduate, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Manhattan College, Riverdale, N.Y.

1999 Lt. Gen. William H. Tunner Award for Most Outstanding Strategic Airlift Crew in Air Force

2007 Air War College Commandant’s Fit to Fight “High Five” Award

2009 Defense Acquisition Executive Certificate of Achievement 


Acquisition Professional Level I in Test and Evaluation, Defense Acquisition University


Second Lieutenant                     July 28, 1984

First Lieutenant                          July 28, 1986

Captain                                        July 28, 1988

Major                                           June 1, 1996

Lieutenant Colonel                    Jan. 1, 2001

Colonel                                       Aug. 1, 2006