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Tribute To General Burwell Baxter Bell

Sen. John W. Warner

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Mr. President, I wish to recognize the professional dedication, vision, and military service of GEN B.B. Bell, who is retiring from the U.S. Army after 39 years of dedicated service. It is a privilege for me to recognize the many outstanding achievements General Bell has provided the Army and our great Nation. General Bell was commissioned as a distinguished military graduate and second lieutenant in 1969 upon graduation from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Following commissioning, General Bell specialized in armor and served with distinction as he rose through the ranks. His orders took him to posts throughout the United States, Germany, and the Middle East.

General Bell assumed command of the United Nations Command, Republic of Korea/United States Combined Forces command, and United States Forces Korea on February 3, 2006.

During his time in command, North Korea made provocative missile launches and numerous demilitarized zone and airspace incursions. Despite these threats, General Bell maintained military readiness even as he reduced the U.S. footprint in Korea by moving soldiers, civilians, and family members south, thus transforming the commands in Korea.

In addition, General Bell has been a principal participant in the fast-paced bilateral military and political discussions, where he has earned the reputation as a well-respected ambassador for the United States. He also developed and maintained close ties with the military and civilian leadership of the Republic of Korea in partnership with the U.S. Ambassador to Korea. He has helped fuse a lasting bond between the two countries.

General Bell is a soldier's soldier. Throughout his career, he has made the wellbeing of soldiers, families, and civilians a priority. He expects those serving below him to do the same.

During service in Desert Shield and Desert Storm as the United States Central Command executive officer, he worked to ensure that each soldier was properly prepared, trained, and equipped for the mission and that every family was cared for by a Family Readiness Group.

Throughout his illustrious career in the Army, General Bell has been nothing less than exceptional. He is a great credit to the Army and this country. I wish him and his wife Katie well in their new endeavors.