Alumni Spotlight 


General Burwell Baxter "B.B." Bell III

Burwell Baxter Bell III was born on 9 April 1947 in Oak Ridge, TN, the son of B. B. Bell, Jr. and Mary R. Bell. He graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1965 and played high school football for the "Wildcats." He graduated from the University of Chattanooga (now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1969 with a degree in Business Administration. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. As a Distinguished Military Graduate of the University's ROTC Program, Bell was commissioned in the U.S. Army in June 1969 as a Second Lieutenant of Armor. Later, he received a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

During his military service, Bell completed the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; and the National War College. He is also completed the Army's Ranger School where he was awarded the Ranger Tab.

From 1969-72, Bell spent his initial assignment in the Army with the 3d Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bad Hersfeld, Germany. During this initial three year period of service during the Cold War, he led units patrolling the Iron Curtain between East and West Germany.

Bell's staff positions include service as an ROTC instructor at Texas Tech University; Force Plans Analyst for the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans in the Pentagon; and Joint Staff Officer responsible for the Unified Command Plan in the J-5, Joint Chiefs of Staff, also at the Pentagon. Additionally, he was a tank battalion Operations Officer in Korea and the Chief of Staff of 3rd Infantry Division in Würzburg, Germany. During his 39-year active duty career, Bell's command positions included L Troop, 3d Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment; D troop, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron; the 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized); and the 24th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

From June 1995 through August 1996 and as a Brigadier General, he served as an Assistant Division Commander in both the 3d and 1st Infantry Divisions located in Bamberg, Germany. As a Major General he commanded the U.S. Army Armor Center and Fort Knox from July 1999 through August 2001 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. As a Lieutenant General, Bell commanded the Army's III Corps from August 2001 to November 2002, headquartered at Fort Hood, TX. Bell deployed as General Schwarzkopf's Executive Officer in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Following Corps Command, Bell was promoted to four-star General and commanded the U.S. Army, Europe and 7th Army, as well as NATO's Land Component Command, Heidelberg, Germany. On completion of his command assignments in Europe, in 2006 Bell was reassigned to South Korea where he commanded U.S. Forces, Korea, the Korea - U.S. Combined Forces Command, and the United Nations Command. Following his Command of forces in Korea, Bell retired from the Army in August 2008.

MG Mark McDonald

Major General James M. “Mark” McDonald

Major General Mark McDonald was commissioned in the Field Artillery in 1980 through Army ROTC at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Early assignments include 1/509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team at Vicenza, Italy and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he commanded two batteries in the 82d Airborne Division. In 1987, MG McDonald served two years as an Exchange Officer to the Royal Canadian Artillery School then two years with the United States Army Field Artillery School. After graduating from the Command and General Staff College, MG McDonald served as an Infantry Brigade Fire Support Officer in the 7th Infantry Division and Operations Officer for 2-8 Field Artillery.

His other Artillery commands include 3rd Battalion 321st Field Artillery as well as the 82d Airborne Division Artillery, involving operations in Iraqi Freedom. His staff positions include duty in Germany at the George C. Marshall Center; two tours on the Department of the Army Staff, Pentagon; NATO in Bosnia and Chief of Staff at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

General Officer positions include Assistant Commandant of the Field Artillery School and Deputy Commanding General of Fort Sill. At Fort Hood, he served as the Deputy Commanding General – Fires (Iraqi Freedom) and the Deputy Commanding General of III Corps and Fort Hood. In May 2009, he returned to Iraq as the Deputy Commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, and later as the Operations Director, J3, United States Forces Iraq. He most recently served as the Commanding General, United States Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox. He assumed command of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill on May 4, 2012.His last assignment was as commanding general of U.S. Army Security Assistance Command and the Army Materiel Command Security Assistance Enterprise at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Major General McDonald’s education includes a Bachelor of Science, Master of Military Arts and Science and is a graduate of the United States Army War College. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, 4 Legions of Merit, 2 Bronze Star Medals, Combat Action Badge and U.S. Master Parachutist badge as well as parachutist badges from Italy, Canada, and Germany.


Captain Joey Royster

Joey Royster, a graduate of Red Bank High School, was commander of the honor guard on duty when the casket of President H.W. Bush arrived and left the U.S. Capitol.

Royster is the son of UTC’s Mike Royster, assistant athletic director for equipment and facilities.

The honor guard, also known as a cordon, is made up of soldiers who lined the Capitol steps as the late president’s casket to and from the hearse.

Royster, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in political science, is stationed at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, a Marine/Army base located next to the National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

He is serving a two-year assignment as a member of the Old Guard, the soldiers that guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and perform funerals and other services at the Capitol and White House. 



Charles Wilson

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Wilson, III

Mr. Wilson graduated from UTC in 1977 as a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) and was commissioned a 2d Lieutenant of Infantry. 

His first assignment upon graduating from the Infantry Officer Basic Course was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri as a Training Officer for a Basic Training Company. The Brigade Commander, 3rd Training Brigade recognized his leadership skills and in early 1978 2LT Wilson commanded his first Company. His leadership was recognized again as his company was chosen to train men and women together for the first time at Fort Leonard Wood. After 19 months of Command 2LT Wilson was chosen to be the Aide de Camp to the Deputy Commanding General at the Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas until April 1981.

In April of 1981 1LT Wilson attended the Infantry Officer Advance Course at Fort Benning, Georgia and upon graduation was assigned as the Assistant S-3 Operations Officer, 3d Battalion, 7 th Infantry, 197th Infantry Brigade (Separate) at Fort Benning. Again, his leadership skills were recognized and he commanded his second company, Bravo Company, 3d Battalion, 7 th Infantry (Cottonbalers) for 19 months. He deployed his company to Little Rock Naval base for the Amphibious Warfare School and then returned to deploy to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin for Cold Weather training, followed by transitioning his company from a light infantry to a mechanized unit and then deploying to Fort Drum, New York with the Battalion for its total transition to a Mechanized unit. Final deployment to REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) 85.

Prior to being reassigned to the 3d Infantry Division in Germany the Army sent CPT Wilson to the Organizational Effectiveness Staff Officer (OESO) course at Fort Ord, California. This course enabled CPT Wilson to assist Senior Officers during their command transition to be prepared faster / quicker. CPT Wilson was assigned as the OESO and Director of Planning, Training, Mobilization and Security for the Schweinfurt Military Community for the Deputy Commanding General, 3d Infantry Division. 

MAJ Wilson was reassigned to the 101 st Airborne Division after spending 4 years with 3d ID as the Division Comptroller in August 1989. In September 1990, MAJ Wilson was deployed in support of Desert Storm and returned in April 1991. Upon his return to the Division HQs he was asked to stay on as the Division transitioned its senior leadership at all levels. Finally, in 1993 the Chief of Staff told him he had five assignments and he could choose the one he wanted. However, all five were in the Pentagon. MAJ Wilson was reassigned to the Army Inspector General's Office as an Operations Inspector and spent the next 3 years travelling to every Army post / installation in the Army.

In 1993, now LTC Wilson was reassigned to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller (ASAFM&C) as the primary lead for developing cost estimates to deploy units as directed by the Commander in Chief. LTC Wilson was responsible for developing the cost estimate for the Army units deploying to Bosnia / Kosovo and briefed it to the Chief of Staff, Army and was approved. Still with the ASAFM&C LTC Wilson was reassigned to the Congressional Budget Office as Deputy Director where he worked with Congress on legislation impacting the Army until he retired in 1998.

Upon retirement LTC Wilson worked as a contractor in support of the Office of Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness (OSD P&R). During his tour with OSD P&R Mr. Wilson travelled with the Director visiting all the Service installations across the world. He was hired by Jones Lang LaSalle as Vice President to assist the Army in developing the plan to privatize Army housing across the force.

In 2000, Mr. Wilson accepted an Army Civilian position (GS15) with the US Army Recruiting Command as their Director of Resource Management and Logistics. In 2001, Mr. Wilson was asked to be the Senior Civilian (GS15) Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management for a new three-star headquarters standing up at Fort Monroe and Fort Knox, US Army Accessions Command (USAAC). As the Senior Civilian he was responsible for US Army Recruiting Command, US Army Cadet Command, US Military Entrance Processing Command and US Army Accessions Support Brigade funding and civilian personnel.

Mr. Wilson remained with USAAC until 2011 when the Command was discontinued and he was reassigned as the Director of Resource Management for US Army Cadet Command which he held until his retirement in 2019. His combined Federal Service was 42 years (2 years during Vietnam era as a Sergeant, 21 years as an Army Infantry Officer and 19 years as a Department of Army Civilian (DAC).

LTC (RETIRED) Wilson has been married to Melissa Ann Marshall from King North Carolina for 49 years in 2020. They had three children: Eric Jason Wilson, CW4 Aviator (Fixed Wing); Andrew Thomas Wilson, CEO, LOGICKULL in San Francisco; and Kathryn Marie Wilson, Senior Vice President in a corporation in Washington, DC. They have 7 grandchildren.

His awards, badges and commendations include: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Southwest Asia Medals (Defense of Saudi Arabia, Liberation of Kuwait and Southwest Asia Cease Fire), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation 101 st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Army Staff Badge and Airborne Wings. 

Upon his retirement LTC (Retired) Wilson Commander, US Army Cadet Command, directed his name be placed in the ROTC Hall of Fame which is being developed at Fort Knox, Kentucky.