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Soldier honored with Bronze Star

Soldier honored with Bronze Star
United States Army First Lt. and Weakley County native David A. Bell, grandson of the late Harry C. and Janet C. Bell of Martin, and son of David and Pamela Bell formerly of Martin, was recently awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Badge in a July awards ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq. The ceremony came after Bell had completed a fifteen month tour as platoon leader in the 54th Military Police Company, an active duty U.S. Army unit home-based out of Fort Lewis, Washington. The narrative for the Bronze Star Medal addressed the many and various accomplishments Bell achieved during this combat tour as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Examples of his achievements cited in the narrative included: mentoring and developing two Iraqi Police Colonels; providing force protection for two Iraqi Police Stations consisting of over 370 police officers; the training of 500 Iraqi Police in basic and advanced police tactics, operations and intelligence collection; and leading a platoon that conducted over 300 combat patrols, and another 250 joint patrols with Iraqi Police. Bell is also credited with capturing several high value targets in his area of responsibility, which ultimately saved the lives of countless Soldiers. Specifically, his intelligence collection operations led to the capture of 21 terrorists, 9 of whom were determined to be Al Qaeda. The citation on the Bronze Star Medal certificate states in part, “His outstanding dedication to duty during combat operations in Iraq contributed to the overall success of the Command’s mission.” The award was approved by U.S. Army Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin III, Commander of the Multinational Corps – Iraq. In the same ceremony, Bell was also awarded the Army Combat Action Badge. One of the Army’s specific eligibility requirements for this award is that the “Soldier must be personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement.” During his fifteen months in Iraq Bell met this specific requirement on numerous occasions when he and his platoon endured several attacks to include improvised explosive device (IED) strikes, indirect fire, and ambushes. On July 29, Bell and his unit returned to Fort Lewis Washington and received a rousing welcome from families, friends, and other Fort Lewis based soldiers. After taking some well earned leave, Bell has since assumed the duties of the 54th Military Police Company executive officer. WCP 10.09.08

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