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Two-times a winner: 599th plans officer garners leadership, junior officer of the year awards.

Capt. Julia Bell isn't average officer, and that s what sets her apart from the rest, earning her back-to-back awards for outstanding leadership.

In January, the 599th Transportation Group plans officer and detachment commander received the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command 2004 Major General Henry R. Del Mar Junior Officer of the Year award, which led to the nomination for the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.

The award recognizes company grade officers who demonstrate the ideals for which General MacArthur stood--duty, honor, country. According to Bell's commander, Col. Tom Harvey, she is the epitome of those standards.

"Captain Bell is a devoted officer and leader who has firmly grasped the essence of Army Values," he said. "She is not only a tremendous asset to this group, but serves as an superb example of determination and selfless service to Soldiers across the command and the Army."

Yet, Bell remains humbled by the selection. "It's quite an honor to be selected to receive this award," she said. "I think the magnitude of the award will actually hit me when I go to (Washington,) D.C., to receive it. Until then, it's business as usual and I am just another captain in the Army."

This captain, however, is a vital member of the 599th team. After being assigned to the group, she immediately hit the ground running.

Lt. Col. Reggie Hall, 599th Operations Assistant Chief of Staff, said, "She is an excellent asset and a very initiative-driven officer. After developing an integrated active-duty and Reserve team to support deploying units, she led the 599th's first end-to-end unit deployment of more than 3,000 pieces of equipment. Her performance continually sets the benchmark for her peers."

The results continued to pour in during Bell's eight-month deployment to Southwest Asia. In SWA, Bell served as the 595th Transportation Group's battle captain in the brigade-level tactical operations center at the sea point of disembarkation in Kuwait, where her duties included maintaining a common operational picture for U.S. and Coalition vessels in the Central Command Area of Responsibility, and overseeing strategic and intra-theater sealift.

"Her dedication to the job truly enhanced my ability to effectively command and control SDDC's most complex operational support unit," Harvey said of her service for the 595th. "Captain Bell's excellent leadership is the means for SDDC's highly successful deployment and distribution operations involving more than 75,000 pieces of warfighter equipment."

Perhaps, though, it is Bell's philosophy on leadership which helps get the job done. Her recommendation: "Always do your best regardless of the task, and have fun while you're doing it." The nine-year veteran explained, when she leads, it's by example and by doing the right thing. "Above all else, take care of the Soldiers, they're the life line of the Army."

According to Bell, being recognized as a great leader most likely means great leaders led you. "I've run into so many terrific people and leaders during my career," she said. "Everyone has unique qualities, so what I do is try to find one or two qualities in a leader that I admire and incorporate them into my own leadership style. Of course it will end up having a unique twist to fit me and my own personality, but so far is seems to have worked well."

Robyn Mack, Public Affairs Officer

599th Transportation Terminal Group
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Title Annotation:Julia Bell
Author:Mack, Robyn
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
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