Meet the 325th SFS Commander: Maj. Jonathan Bell

Major Jonathan Bell

Maj. Jonathan Bell, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- There once was a boy in Greenback, Tenn., a small dairy farm community tucked away south of Knoxville, Tenn., who had aspirations of one day joining the Air Force.

"When I was six years old," said Maj. Jonathan Bell, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander, "I know it's kind of cliché, but I saw an 'Aim High' Air Force poster, and I said, 'I want to fly. I want to get near airplanes.'"

That single poster ignited a course of events in Bell's life that would one day uncover the leader that had developed within him. Bell said that as a kid he built, piloted and fell in love with remote control airplanes. While still in pursuit of his dream to become an officer in the Air Force, Bell decided to attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and join their Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment.

"I had it in mind when I went to college to go through the ROTC program," Bell said, "and hopefully get paid to go to school as well, which I was able to do."

By the time Bell graduated from college, he discovered his passion for leading people. This came during a fateful encounter with a security forces colonel who encouraged Bell to become a security forces member.

"He was a mentor to me and recruited me in to the security forces career field where I truly found my calling as a leader and commander," said Bell. "I really, fully enjoy it."

His natural fit as a leader and commander has brought him, along with his wife and three children, to Tyndall. The Bell family is adapting to Northwest Florida and is becoming accustomed to life on the beach.

"To be honest with you, I'm not normally a beach guy," Bell explained. "I'm a mountain kind of guy, but wow these are amazing beaches. I'm really looking forward to a lot more adventure out there."

Bell added that his children are home-schooled, and he typically tries to plan family outings around the subjects that the kids are learning.

Whether hiking, swimming or watching bears, Bell said his family is adjusting well to life in Florida, and he looks forward to his time here.

As for that boy from Greenback, he achieved his dream of being a pilot. Bell added that he obtained his private pilot license, while stationed in Alaska.