Rear Admiral (Ret.) Matthew T. Bell Jr. joined the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies as Dean On 25 April 2022. He is responsible for the executive education program designed with the end goals of protecting the U.S. homeland, maintaining a favor-
able balance of power in the region, and promoting a shared approach to regional security and respect for the existing rules-based order.
Rear Admiral Matthew T. Bell Jr. retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2021, following 36 years of active duty service. He served his final assignment as Commander of the 17th Coast Guard District. He was responsible for Coast Guard operations throughout Alaska, the North Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea. Duties included protecting life and property, enforcing federal laws and treaties, preserving living marine resources and promoting national security. Coast Guard’s forces in Alaska totaled more than 2,500 active duty, reserve and civilian personnel, who employed 15 cutters, 52 boats, and 17 aircraft. Headquartered in Juneau, the District Commander provided operationally ready maritime forces to Coast Guard and Department of Defense Commanders for Coast Guard, joint, and interagency operations both domestically and internationally. Previously, Rear Adm. Bell served as Com-mander, Personnel Service Center in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he was responsible for the execution of the Coast Guard’s human resource policies by recruiting, accessing, assigning, developing careers, maintaining well-being, compensating, separating and retiring the nearly 45,000 members of the active duty and reserve workforce.
Rear Adm. Bell is designated a Permanent Cutterman with over 12 years of service afloat including command tours of CGC POINT DIVIDE in Newport Beach, California; CGC ALEX HALEY in Kodiak, Alaska; and CGC DOUGLAS MUNRO in Kodiak, Alaska. Much of his time at sea was spent patrolling the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea executing many of the Coast Guard’s missions to include counter-drug and fisheries law enforcement, search and rescue, ports and waterways security, and military defense operations.
Between sea duty tours, Rear Adm. Bell specialized in operations management. He served tours of duty as Chief of Staff, Chief of Response, and Cutter Forces Management, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, Alameda, California; Chief of Response, Eleventh Coast Guard District, Alameda, California; and Administration Officer, Coast Guard Group New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2008, he was assigned to Commander Task Group 55.6, Manama, Bahrain as Commodore, Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. In this role he was supporting commander to U.S. Naval Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces for Maritime Security Opera-tions, Maritime Interdiction Operations and Critical Infrastructure Protection in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Six U.S. Coast Guard 110 foot Island Class Patrol Boats and five U.S. Navy 179 foot Patrol Coastals were assigned to the task group conducting patrols throughout the Arabian Gulf.
Throughout his career, he refined his experience in training and education as Leadership Instructor at Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia, Chemistry Instructor at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, Internist for the Space Life
Sciences Training Program at Kennedy Space Center, Aide to the Superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy and Section Chief of Nautical Science at the Coast Guard Academy.
Rear Adm. Bell is a 1984 graduate from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chem-istry. He entered the Coast Guard in 1985 through Recruit Training Center, Cape May, New Jersey and received his commission in 1986 upon graduation from Officer Candidate School, Yorktown, Virginia. He holds a Master of Science in Chemistry awarded by Northern Arizona University and is a graduate of Harvard University, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.