Koech Bellion

Staff Sergeant, United States Air Force | Logistics Technician

Bellion immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya in 2011, at 24 years of age. Aspiring to become a naturalized citizen, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2013. While serving on active duty, Bellion enrolled in and completed the online Master’s in Public Health program at UWF.

How did studying at UWF differ from your schooling in Kenya?

In general, everything is more convenient here in the U.S. Education is different in terms of learning resource availability. At UWF, study materials were conveniently located within my reach online. My classmates were from diverse walks of life and very interactive. Actually, most of them were commissioned officers already, and, to be honest, I was a bit intimidated being junior enlisted (E-4). With time, we really bonded and helped each other out in class. Professors were also readily available even on weekends. That is why I was able to complete some of my classes while I was deployed to Kuwait.

Why did you want to study public health?

Throughout my childhood, I witnessed the burden of easily preventable public health problems such as poor water hygiene and sanitation. I considered public health my best opportunity to protect people en masse through life changing roles in research, education, policymaking, and other aspects of the career field. Already, I have been granted an opportunity to serve as a public health officer in the U.S. Air Force, Biomedical Sciences Corps, where I play leadership roles to protect health and wellbeing of my fellow Airmen.

What are your immediate plans and career goals?

I am scheduled to leave my current logistics readiness responsibilities at Dyess Air Force Base for a five-week commissioned officer training in Alabama, after which I will proceed to my next duty station. My midterm goal is to earn a doctorate, and take on more leadership roles in the military. Ultimately, I hope to retire from the service and pursue public health challenges on global stage, preferably in Africa.