Melvin Bell after his second retirement in 2004. Bell dedicated 66 years of federal service in the military and civil service. Photo courtesy of the Bell family.

The Long Blue Line: Master Chief Petty Officer Melvin Kealoha Bell – minority pioneer, Pacific War hero

On Sept. 9, 2018, Master Chief Melvin Kealoha Bell, retired, crossed the bar at the age of 98. He was a patriot whose distinguished career in service of his country spanned 65 years. During his active-duty career, Bell held many distinctions such as being the first minority master chief petty officer in the Coast Guard and the first master chief in the electronics technician rating. His life, career and work embody the service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.