Rear Admiral Matthew T. Bell Jr.

Seventeenth District Commander (D17)

U.S. Coast Guard


Rear Admiral Matthew T. Bell Jr. assumed the duties as Commander, Personnel Service Center in Washington, D.C. on April 1st, 2016. In this capacity, he is 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.

Previously, Rear Admiral Bell served as Chief of Staff, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California, where he directly supported multi-mission interagency operations throughout the 74 million square mile pacific theater. He developed and executed a strategic framework to prioritize mission requirements and allocate forces that deployed to the Arctic in response to increased human activity, to the Eastern Pacific to stem the flow of illicit narcotics and to the Western Pacific to bolster multi-lateral partnerships in Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Rear Admiral Bell is designated a Permanent Cutterman with over twelve years of service afloat including command tours of CGC POINT DIVIDE in Newport Beach, California, CGC ALEX HALEY in Kodiak, Alaska, and CGC MUNRO in Kodiak, Alaska. Much of his time at sea was spent patrolling the Pacific and Bering Sea waters executing many of the Coast Guard’s missions such as drug and fisheries law enforcement, search and rescue, ports and waterways security and military defense operations.

Between sea duty tours, Rear Admiral Bell specialized in operations management. He served tours of duty as Administration Officer at Coast Guard Group New Orleans, Chief, Cutter Forces Management, Coast Guard Pacific Area, and Chief of Response, Eleventh Coast Guard District. In 2008 he was assigned to Commander Task Group 55.6 in Manama, Bahrain as Commodore, Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. In this role he was the supporting commander to U.S. Naval Central Command / U.S. Fifth Fleet / Combined Maritime Forces for Maritime Security Operations, 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 Admiral Bell is a 1984 graduate from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He entered the Coast Guard through the Recruit Training Center in Cape May, New Jersey in 1985. He received his commission in 1986 upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia. He holds a Masters of Science in Chemistry awarded by Northern Arizona University in 1993.

Rear Admiral Bell’s personal awards include two Legion of Merits, four Meritorious Service Medals, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.