Military Wiki
Dell Bull
File:File:Dell D. Bull (3).jpg
Birth name Dell David Bull
Born 1965
Place of birth Oak Harbor, Washington, United States
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1989–present
Rank Rear Admiral (RDML), Lower Half
Commands held Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41 Black Aces, USS Nimitz (CVN 68)
VFA-122 Flying Eagles, F/A-18 West Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS)
Carrier Air Wing 9, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
Chief of Naval Air Training, NAS Corpus Christi

Dell David Bull[1] (born 1965) is a United States Navy Rear Admiral and Naval Flight Officer bombardier/navigator currently assigned as Deputy Director for Operations and Intelligence Integration at the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO). He previously served as Special Assistant for Naval Air Systems Command in Washington, D.C.. From July 2015 to June 2017, Bull was Chief of Naval Air Training at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

Early life and education[]

Dell Bull was born in 1965 in Oak Harbor, Washington, the son of Lyle and Diana (nee Stone) Bull. Bull has three older brothers: Ron, Vince, and Bruce. At the time of Bull's birth, his father had recently separated from the United States Naval Reserve as a Naval Flight Officer Bombardier/Navigator and the family moved for a short period of time to East Moline, Illinois, to be near his parent's respective families. When the Navy recruited Bull's father into active duty service in 1965, the family returned to Oak Harbor and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.[2][3] He and his brothers attended school there, with Bull graduating from Oak Harbor High School in 1983. Following high school, Bull attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science.[4]

Navy career[]

Naval Flight Officer[]

Following college graduation and then Officer Candidate School, Bull was awarded a commission in the United States Navy as an Ensign, designated a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) Bombardier/Navigator (B/N) and received his wings in 1989. He was assigned for training in the Grumman A-6 Intruder at NAS Whidbey in VA-128. He then received orders to report to VA-196, also at NAS Whidbey, one of the squadrons his father had been assigned to during the Vietnam War and was named executive officer (XO) in 1974 when Bull was nine years old. With VA-196, Bull was deployed aboard the USS Independence (CV 62) with missions flown during Operation Desert Shield in 2006.[4]

Following Desert Shield, Bull's career took a turn from attack aircraft to fighter aircraft. After training in the F-14 Tomcat, he was assigned to VF-101 as one of the first NFOs to be selected to transition to the aircraft. He later became a flight instructor, also with the F-14. At that time, he was ordered to report to VF-24, deployed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68). With VF-24, Bull flew missions during Operation Southern Watch. After VF-24, he was assigned to VF-14 and was deployed aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). With VF-14, Bull was named Naval Flight Officer of the Year as a result of performance and tactical expertise while in combat.[4]

Bull's flight record includes more than 4,800 flight hours and more than 950 arrested landings.[4]

Shore duty[]

Bull's shore duty assignments have included: legislative fellow with Senator John McCain, Senior Policy officer with Homeland Security as part of the Joint Staff, J-34 Anti-Terrorism Office, Aviation Program Manager in the Office of Legislative Affairs, all in Washington, D.C. Bull has also served as chief of staff, Naval Air Force Pacific in San Diego, California. He is currently chief of staff for the commander of the Naval Air Forces (CNAF), in Washington, D.C.[4]

Command assignments[]

Command operational assignments include the Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-41 Black Aces aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68), VFA-122 Flying Eagles, the west coast F/A-18A-F Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), and Carrier Air Wing 9 aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). Bull assumed command of Chief of Naval Air Training in July 2015.[4]

Decorations, awards, promotions[]

Bull's decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Air Medals with the Combat "V", six Strike/Flight Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a gold star, two Navy Achievement Medals, and various campaign, unit, and service awards.[4]

While at CNAF in San Diego, Captain Bull was promoted to rear admiral in April 2015.[5]


In July 2017, Bull was ordered to report to Washington, D.C. with RADM Jay Bynum taking his place as Chief of Naval Air Training at NAS Corpus Christi. News reports referred to the change of command as "sudden".[6] The change of duty assignments followed the grounding of T-45 Goshawk training jets following safety issues with the cockpit oxygen systems in the aircraft. After numerous reports of hazardous physical symptoms pilots were experiencing while flying the T-45 during training missions due to lack of oxygen, it was determined that contaminants were in the oxygen system. As a result, pilot instructors were refusing to fly and the Navy's entire fleet of 200 training jets were grounded. Instructors and trainees were reported as being dissatisfied with Bull's response to the issues as Chief of Naval Air Training. According to news reports at the time, the pilots felt they were being told by Bull to stand down in their complaints and fly in spite of the unresolved safety issues. Bull expressed his displeasure at the time that the issue had been made public.[7][8]

When Bull's reassignment was announced, change of command had already occurred. At that time, Bull had written a letter to his staff that stated he was going to Washington, D.C. to lead a team which would "solve problems with Navy and Marine Corps fighter jets."[6]


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