Journey from one term Airman to chief master sergeant

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
(This feature is part of a "Women's History Month" series highlighting female Airmen stationed at MacDill.)

Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Bell, superintendent of the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS), joined the Air Force planning to serve only one term of enlistment. Little did she know, 23 years later, not only would she continue to serve, but also join the top one percent of the enlisted force.

"When I first came in, I was going to get out at four years, so I declined testing for staff sergeant the first time," explained Bell. "However, I had a good mentor who told me that I had potential, so I decided I was going to give it a shot. I figured if I was going to stay in then I might as well make rank."

Since her decision to continue serving, Bell has held numerous supply jobs in maintenance squadrons, transportation squadrons, and at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command. She has been stationed at several bases to include Hurlburt Field, Florida, Eielson AFB, Lajes Field, Turkey, Robins Air Force Base (AFB), Georgia, Osan Air Base (AB), Korea, Kadena AB, Japan, Southwest Asia, and here at MacDill AFB.

Bell, a Moultrie Georgia native, has held several jobs in the supply career field, but is currently serving as enlisted advisor to the 6th LRS commander.

"My favorite part of my job is the up close and personal interaction that I have with my squadron members on a daily basis," stated Bell. "I love the fact that they feel comfortable enough with me that they will just stop by and chat about anything."

With the various jobs she's held, places she's been, and people she's interacted with, the highlight of Bell's career was earning the rank of chief master sergeant.

"I never expected it," Bell said. "I knew I was a hard worker, but I was shocked. I felt blessed to be able to say that I made chief, the top one percent."

Although she feels blessed to have gained 23 years of experience, Bell says that it's difficult being away from her family.

"I have had three remote assignments and being separated from my husband and my family has been the most challenging," expressed Bell, "Not being able to get to the family events has been the hardest part. I have missed special moments like my sister's wedding."

Despite these challenges, Bell says making her family proud motivates her to push forward.

"I am the only one in my family to join the Air Force, and they are super proud," explained Bell. "My sister brags all the time about how her sister is a chief in the Air Force."

Through all the ups and downs, Bell says she feels fortunate to serve.

"I would have to say it's the best life decision I've ever made," said Bell "I am truly proud to serve!"