ROTC commissions two on May 8

Kesha Williams
May 06, 2009

The ROTC at Elizabeth City State University will commission two cadets at 11 a.m. on May 8 in the theater of the Ridley Student Center: Benjamin Christensen, a native of St Angelo, TX, and Dequan Spencer, a native of Whispering Pines, N.C., will serve in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Army. The speaker for the ceremony is retired Colonel Randy Bell, a Smithfield, NC native, and a 1972 graduate of ECSU. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in the Social Sciences at ECSU and he earned master's degrees in Educational Leadership from Troy State University and National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. Entering the Marine Corps at Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va., Colonel Bell was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in August 1974. He served in various operational and staff positions in the aviation logistics field. He served as Commanding Officer of the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He retired from the Marine Corps in September 2004 while serving as Assistant Chief of Staff, Aviation Logistics at the US Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. Colonel Bell's military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal (w/star) and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w/two stars). In addition to recognition for outstanding military performance and achievement, Colonel Bell was recognized in 2000 in the Virginian Pilot among the African-American Leaders of Hampton Roads. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education for outstanding achievement as a graduate of one of the historically black colleges and universities in 2000. He was awarded the 2000 Eastern Province, Kappa Alpha Psi Professional Achievement Award and named an "Unsung Hero" by The Hampton Roads Pan-Hellenic Council in 2002. Colonel Bell received an Alumni Merit Award for dedicated military service and professional achievement from the ECSU Alumni Association in 2004. Colonel Bell has participated in various church, fraternal, and community activities. A life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he has served the fraternity in various leadership positions as an undergraduate and in alumni chapters in Gretna La; New Orleans, La; Honolulu, HI, and Chesapeake/Virginia Beach, Va. He is also life member of the ECSU National Alumni Association. Colonel Bell currently serves as Treasurer of the ECSU Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves on the Virginia Beach Citizens Advisory Board and Congressman Glenn Nye's Veterans Advisory Committee. He is active with The Hampton Roads Committee of 200+Men, Inc., Urban League of Hampton Roads, and the ECSU Virginia Beach Alumni Chapter. Colonel Bell is married to the former Carol Regina Daniels of Thomasville, Ga. They have one son, Randy II (R J), a fifth year pharmacy student at Florida A&M University, and one daughter, Danielle Alysia, a junior at the University of Richmond.