ANG Outstanding Airman of the Year: SrA. Ruth-Ann B. Bell
By Master Sgt. Matt Schwartz, 193d Special Operations Wing
/ Published August 16, 2021
MIDDLETON, Pennsylvania -- MIDDLETOWN, Pennsylvania- Senior Airman Ruth-Ann B. Bell, a weather forecaster with the 203rd Weather Flight, 193rd Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, was named the Air National Guard’s 2021 Outstanding Airman of the Year.
Bell completed basic training in 2018, then successfully integrated with her fellow weather forecasters, providing insight from a wealth of experience she garnered prior to joining the ANG.
“As a weather forecaster, we are the tip of the spear to the warfighting effort,” said Bell. “It is our job to provide environmental intelligence to those who plan and execute missions, giving them the information they need to make informed decisions on how to carry out tasks effectively while keeping service members safe.”
In 2020, she stepped forward and volunteered for the Pennsylvania COVID-19 response as part of Operation Safe Haven and also deployed on short notice to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, for seven months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Regarding her commitment to the Air Force core values, Bell says, “I like to make things happen. If something needs done or someone needs help, no matter the task, I am willing to lend a hand or find a way to complete the assignment. I also enjoy looking at the big picture, seeing how the smaller pieces fit together to accomplish the mission, and I try to make sure nothing falls through the cracks when it comes to the smaller details that sometimes get overlooked.”
Bell’s leaders quickly took notice of the value she brought to the team from the onset of her career.
“Senior Airman Bell has exemplified the Air Force core values from day one in the Weather Flight,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kristin Graby, superintendent of the 203rd WF. “She continues to go above and beyond within the unit and the wing. She is the first to volunteer for exercises and deployments, despite being one of our newer members. She strives for perfection both militarily and in civilian life as is shown by her dedication to the Air Force, her family, and her community service. Airman Bell sets the bar high for herself and her teammates. We are lucky to have her as part of the 193rd SOW.”
In 2001, Bell received her Bachelor of Science in small animal science and conservation from Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She is an active community volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol where she uses her weather forecasting experience, as well as her private pilot and commercial glider pilot licenses, to mentor cadets. She helps foster teamwork and attention to detail in the 33 cadets she trains in drill and ceremony skills. Bell further leverages her background in animal science to volunteer with a variety of organizations, including Future Farmers of America.
Bell also helped save two lives following a car accident in 2020. She called 911 and communicated with emergency personnel and helped treat the individuals. In doing so, Bell also received a CAP life-saving award.
Outside the ANG, Bell intends to work toward becoming a certified flight instructor, particularly gliders, so she can pass on her love for aviation. She enjoys working with the youth in the CAP and will continue educating herself to be a great example of a senior aerospace education officer.
“I had two initial goals when beginning my time in the Air National Guard, and they were to serve and to set an example for others, particularly my kids, that if you feel called to do something that you should make it happen,” said Bell. “My plans as I continue this journey in the military are to continue to find ways of serving those around me. I will continue to better myself as a forecaster and in organizational leadership so that I can consider either one day being able to serve as a superintendent or as a first sergeant.”
For her commitment to the state of Pennsylvania and the United States, Bell was awarded the title of the ANG’s 2021 Outstanding Airman of the Year.