Nc w v staff sergeant vincent j bell  1

SSGT Vincent J. Bell

  • Branch: Marines
  • Hometown/City: Detroit, MI
  • Date of Birth: 07-08-1983
  • Date of Death: 11-30-2011
  • Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Unit: 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
  • Port/Base: Camp Pendleton, CA

Share Your Hero

Submit Profile Image


Honor your hero with thoughts, memories, images and stories.

  • July 8, 1983-November 30, 2011 Staff Sergeant Vincent J. Bell was in receipt of Imminent Danger Pay during this period. Staff Sergeant Bell is enthusiastically recommended for the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, with Combat Distinguishing Device, for heroic achievement while serving as Platoon Sergeant, 1st Platoon, Battery G, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, 2d Marine Division (Forward), from October 2011 to November 2011, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 11-2. Staff Sergeant Bell’s distinguished service and unparalleled dedication are made clear with the following accomplishments: On 10 November 2011, Staff Sergeant Bell arrived at FOB Zeebrugge, Kajaki District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. That same night, he directed his Marines as they fired two 81mm mortar missions in support of troops in contact. Three nights later, while manning Observation Post (OP) Shrine, he calmly and methodically directed one of his squads and an Afghanistan Uniformed Police (AUP) platoon, who partnered with the Marines, in their first firefight and submitted two successful 81mm mortar calls for fire. By the end of his first full week, Staff Sergeant Bell and his Marines had been engaged on five separate occasions; three small arms fire engagements while on post, one small arms engagement while conducting a dismounted patrol, and one indirect fire attack. During his first twenty days, he had led his Marines on (29) dismounted patrols and (22) mounted patrols. Between 12 and 19 November 2011, Staff Sergeant Bell spent a week with his 1st Squad as they occupied OP Shrine. The post was little more than a GBOSS surrounded by HESCO and provided little cover and concealment from both the enemy and the elements. Immediately upon arrival, SSgt Bell began improving the post to better defend the Marines and the AUP who manned it. He supervised the reconstruction of each machinegun post and ensured they were emplaced to best defend the position. He rebuilt post B by replacing the depredated force protection, constructing overhead cover for the AUP who stood twenty-four hour post, and tied the post into both the fire plan sketch and the communication plan. Still, his most valuable addition to the improvement of OP Shrine did not come to fruition until the end of December. It was Staff Sergeant Bell who identified the great benefits that post C could provide the battery, and since its construction, it has become the heaviest engaged and most lethal fighting position the battery occupies. On 15 November 2011, Staff Sergeant Bell broke from his work of position improvement to accompany his 2d Squad as they patrolled north to test the forward line of enemy troops and to better familiarize the battery with its new area of operations. Midway through the patrol, the point man discovered two non-metallic pressure plate improvised explosive devices, and soon after the THOR operator reported that he was effectively blocking an incoming signal. As he assisted in reporting the finds to the battery’s Combat Operations Center (COC), the patrol was engaged by multiple enemy positions to the north, east, and west, all utilizing rifle, medium machinegun, and rocket propelled grenades. Staff Sergeant Bell quickly identified several of the positions, and as his squad leader directed the squad’s fires, he called for indirect fire support onto the enemy positions. The fires were denied, so rather than risk getting pinned down or allowing the enemy to maneuver further against the squad, Staff Sergeant Bell ordered the egress towards OP Shrine. As the patrol slowly began the kilometer-long movement, which lasted over two hours, he continuously updated his over watch position on OP Shrine and the battery COC on the patrol’s situation. As they neared friendly lines, Staff Sergeant Bell coordinated heavy machinegun and direct fire rocket support from the over watch position. The patrol resulted in two PPIED finds, one RCIED find, and five suspected EKIA. On 19 November 2011, 1st Platoon assumed control of Patrol Base (PB) New York several kilometers southeast of FOB Zeebrugge. Knowing that the PB would be turned over to the Afghanistan Civil Order Police (ANCOP), Staff Sergeant Bell directed many improvements to the post that would help in its sustainability, to include the construction of an Entry Control Point, improved overhead cover on posts, and the building of an ANCOP COC. He also supervised many of the security and resupply patrols, resulting in the discovery and destruction of three pressure plate IEDs (PPIEDs). On 24 November 2011, SSgt Bell led a resupply convoy from PB New York to FOB Zeebrugge. While at Zeebrugge, the battery received an artillery call for fire that required more than the available one gun fire capability. SSgt Bell immediately ordered all of his available 0811, Artillerymen, who were preparing for the return convoy to the gunline, then followed in trace. With two degraded howitzer sections, he directed and supervised the Battery’s gunline as they supported 1/6 with 155mm howitzer fires. His actions resulted in the enemy being effectively suppressed and one EKIA. On 30 November 2011, Staff Sergeant Bell was involved in Battery G’s 1st Platoon (-), and Afghanistan National Army (ANA), partnered operation in vicinity of the town of Kanzi. While advancing to the objective, SSgt Bell’s element systematically cleared wadis and provided cover for the ANA as they cleared compounds. When enemy forces began to engage the platoon’s assault element, Staff Sergeant Bell maneuvered the squad under enemy fire and observation to an adjacent compound in order to establish a support by fire (SBF) position. He moved through the squad, methodically emplacing each member individually, and identified sectors of fire to prevent a friendly fire incident, as 2d Squad began to maneuver onto enemy forces. As he began to move through the SBF position, Staff Sergeant Bell triggered a non-metallic PPIED, mortally wounding him. Staff Sergeant Bell’s actions and decisions allowed 1st Platoon to break contact, effectively evading the enemy’s ambush, while sustaining no further casualties. Staff Sergeant Bell’s tireless devotion to the mission and Marines led directly to the Battery’s follow on operational success in its area of operations. His focus on the development of his subordinates was apparent and consistently noted. Staff Sergeant Bell's leadership, superior performance, and unwavering devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him, the Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Service. For the above reasons, and many more, he is enthusiastically recommended for, and greatly deserving of, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device. HEROIC ACHIEVEMENT WHILE SERVING AS PLATOON SERGEANT, 1ST PLATOON, BATTERY G, 2D BATTALION, 11TH MARINES, 2D MARINE DIVISION FORWARD, FROM OCTOBER 2011 TO NOVEMBER 2011 IN SUPPORT OF OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 11-2. STAFF SERGEANT BELL PLAYED AN INSTRUMENTAL ROLE IN BATTERY G’S SUCCESS WHILE DEFENDING THE KAJAKI DAM IN HELMAND PROVINCE. HE DEVOTED HIMSELF TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF TWO OF THE BATTERY’S OUTPOSTS, BETTER PROTECTING HIS MARINES AND THEIR ANSF PARTNERS. HE LED MORE THAN (51) COMBAT MOUNTED AND DISMOUNTED PATROLS THROUGHOUT THE SPAN OF (20) DAYS, AND CONSISTENTLY PROVIDED ASSISTANCE TO HIS SQUAD LEADERS WITH OUTSIDE COORDINATION AS THEY LED HIGHLY COMPLICATED, PARTNERED, COMBAT OPERATIONS. WHILE EXCELLING IN HIS PROVISIONAL INFANTRY DUTIES, BY UTILIZING HIS SKILLS AS AN ARTILLERYMAN, HE WAS ABLE TO CALL FOR FIRE AND SUPPORT THE BATTERY AND ADJACENT UNITS WITH ORGANIC AND NON-ORGANIC INDIRECT FIRE SUPPORT. HIS LEADERSHIP, EXAMPLE, AND COURAGE UNDER ENEMY FIRES WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN THE HISTORIC AND CONTINUED SUCCESS OF 1ST PLATOON AND BATTERY G. STAFF SERGEANT BELL’S INITIATIVE, PERSEVERANCE, AND TOTAL DEDICATION TO DUTY REFLECTED CREDIT UPON HIM AND UPHELD THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE MARINE CORPS AND THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE.

    Pamela Bell, Mother