Robert Bell is the founder of the Ellis County Detachment 1452. In January 2017 he started discussing the idea of a detachment with his friend and fellow Marine, Alex Campbell. From that point forward the ball kept rolling with enough support of local Marines, throughout the County, to form the Detachment in June of 2017 when the Detachment's Charter from the Marine Corps League's National headquarters was officially presented.
"I joined the Marine Corps with my friend Alex Campbell right after High School in 1996. We went through Boot Camp and the School of Infantry together before being assigned to our first duty station in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. I was an Infantryman by trade and ended up having a long and successful career in the Marine Corps before being Medically Retired from the Marine Corps in September of 2015.
"During my 19 years and 3 month long career I was able to do many things that I was proud and honored to accomplish. I was a Combat Instructor at the School of Infantry where I trained hundreds of Marines to be Infantrymen. This was just prior to and at the beginning of September 11th, 2001; so that job was definitely an important one since most of those Marines went on to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, during the Global War on Terror. I then went on to be a Drill Instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego where I was able to train, and help train, nearly 3,000 civilians to become Marines. A good majority of these Marines also went on to serve in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I then moved on to be a Platoon Sergeant in another Infantry battalion (2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 7th Marine Division) where we deployed to Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2008). We were in direct combat operations during both deployments. In Iraq I was blown up by a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) and was wounded, but by the Grace of God was not physically injured. It took me 7 years before I ever admitted that something was wrong with me mentally. I never received a Purple Heart because I didn't seek treatment from a Medical Officer, which would have taken me off the battlefield. Most of my Marines probably wouldn't have even known I was blown up since we were spread throughout several different locations and the firefight that ensued was pretty chaotic.
"My family was with me every step of the way and deserves credit for my career just as much as I would. I am glad that I was able to move up through the enlisted ranks to become a Master Sergeant (E-8) and learn the leadership skills that I have today.
"I was able to do many other things too long to list. Being a Marine is a lifetime commitment and I am honored to lead this great Marine organization into the future."