- The following is from the Maroondah Secondary College
( The City Of Maroondah, Australia) Valedictory Dinner held Oct 2001.
- Cdr. Barbara Bell, United States Navy, was the guest speaker.
- "The highlight of the evening was the most motivational and inspirational address,
This Is My Story, given by our guest speaker, Cdr. Barbara Bell, United States
Navy, who is currently based in Melbourne, occupying the position of Commander - Defense
Contract Management Agency, Australia. It was a great privilege and honour to have Cdr.
Bell as our guest speaker and we take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks and
appreciation to her for her contribution to the overall success of the evening."
- THIS IS MY STORY - CDR. BARBARA BELL, U.S. NAVY
- I am a native of Traverse City, Michigan and graduated from the United States Naval
Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in May 1983.
- After commissioning, I entered Naval Flight Officer training in Pensacola, FL and
received my "Wings of Gold" in August 1984.
- Upon completing A-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron training, I reported to Tactical
Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Four at Pt. Muga, California in October 1985 and
qualified as a Mission Commander, a NATOPS Instructor and as both a Navigator and an
Electronic Countermeasures Officer in the ERA-3B and KA-3B aircraft.
- At the completion of my first squadron tour, I was selected to attend the U.S. Naval
Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.
- Upon graduation from Test Pilot School, I was assigned to the Systems Engineering Test
Directorate at NAS Patuxent River where I was a test project officer on several aircraft
test programs including the EP-3E, British NIMROD, EA-6B and F-14 upgrade programs. In
March 1991, I returned to Test Pilot School as its first female instructor.
- On being selected as an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer, I reported to the Naval
Postgraduate School where I received an M.S. Degree in Space Systems Engineering.
Completing this Degree in September 1994, I reported to the National Reconnaissance Office
where I served as the
- Integration and Test lead of a new-start, multi-agency, joint service, major acquisition
- In October 1997, I reported to Program Executive Officer, Tactical Aircraft Programs,
Patuxent River, Maryland. Assigned to the EA-6B Program Office, I led the efforts to
install and field the USQ-113(V)3 Communications Jammer and the Connectivity system into
the EA-6B Prowler. I also served as the Program Integrator for the EA-6B Program Office,
managing fleet inventory for the Prowler community.
- Currently, I occupy the position of Commander, Defense Contract Management Agency,
Australia. My command performs contract administration services for over $170M worth of
U.S. Department of Defense contracts with Australia and New Zealand.
- During my military service, I have accumulated over 1600 flying hours in more than
thirty-five types of U.S and Allied aircraft.
- Well, that is my own personal story - a story of my progression from living in a small
town with limited money to reaching where I am today, thanks to the support of my parents
- I believe that it was important for me to tell you my story for everyone has a life
story and you, the Class of 2001, are standing at the crossroads of your own life stories
- the challenge is to determine what your life story will be.
- The parents and teachers of Maroondah Secondary College have prepared the Class of 2001
well, now the choice is up to you. Best wishes.
- Commander Bell's personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious
Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), and the Navy Achievement Medal