1st Sgt. Russell Ryan Bell
Born: January 20, 1975
Died: August 2, 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan
1st Sgt. Russell R. Bell, 37, of Tyler, Texas, died Aug. 2, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when they encountered an enemy improvised explosive device. These Soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Russell graduated in 1993 from Chapel Hill High School. He joined the Army on January 24, 1996 as an Infantryman, attending One Station Unit Training and U.S. Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Ga. before reporting to Camp Casey, Korea for his first assignment. After spending a year in Korea, 1st Sgt. Bell reported to Fort Bragg where he served at various levels in 1st Bn., 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment for more than five years and then transitioned to his drill sergeant duties at Fort Jackson, S.C. Following his tour at Fort Jackson, 1st Sgt. Bell returned to the airborne community with the 508th PIR in Italy and subsequently returned to Fort Bragg where he served as a 1st Sgt. for more than three years in two different units, most recently with HHC, 1st Bn., 508th PIR. This was his fourth combat deployment to Afghanistan over the course of seven years. His training and accomplishments include Airborne School, Air Assault School, Warrior’s Leader Course, Advanced Leader’s Course, Drill Sergeant School, Jumpmaster School, U.S. Army Ranger Course and the Senior Leader’s Course. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal with five bronze knots, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with the numeral three, the NATO medal, the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery in Spring Lake, North Carolina – Sec 1C Site 16
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