Good evening Troops. The other day I had the great fortune to talk to Steven Bell a contestant on the show The Controller: Medal Of Honor Warfighter. The show teams up a Military Veteran with a Gamer as they compete through various live fire and video game challenges for 50k$. Steven is a member of fire team blue. Now that you got the idea lets get to it , Jumpers Hit It!
I was able to talk to Steven on skype on several occasions. We had a long and very awesome conversation. It was more like two army buddies running into each other than anything else but here are some of the key questions that we talked about. First off if you were not aware Steven Bell is an Army Ranger from the legendary 75th Ranger Regiment. Steven Bell is very experienced in everything from night raids, close quarter battle, and breaching. If you happen to be in the Regiment today you might find one of his field expedient breaching charges in the training today. Steven Bell has raised several Rangers over his career including one of the Rangers who created TSAF industries ( Specializes in Ranger Gear and a fundraiser for fellow Rangers).
SPARTAN117GW – So how long did you serve in the United States Army as a Ranger?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) – I spent four years in the 3rd Ranger Bat and two years in the national guard.
SPARTAN117GW – What made you decide to join the army?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -Growing up in northern California with guns, the outdoors and competitive sports I always wanted to be one of the finest and deadliest soldiers in the world and fight alongside other men like myself. In addition, 9/11 had a huge hand in my decision because if I could do anything to keep my family safe and the war out of our back yard I would do it, no questions asked.
SPARTAN117GW -Its easy to see how becoming a Ranger was a natural decision. How would you describe your experience as a member of the 75Th Ranger Regiment?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - The time I spent in the Rangers was the greatest experience in my life. Being the most elite unit in the army, navy and marines. Only the best of the best are allowed in. To work alongside of men that are gladiators and true warrior of their time “alpha males” and to know you are a part of that is life altering. Being a tier one unit, every day from sun up to long after sun day was full of PT (hardest and most extensive in the military), live weapons training (shooting thousands of rounds daily), combat action training, both fixed and rotary wing exercise, explosives training, hand to hand fighting and the closest camaraderie between soldiers that is fathomable. Not much can be shared about my time spent in OEF and OIF but it was the most intense, fulfilling and self-building experience every trip over.
SPARTAN117GW -That sounds like a hell of a time. How many overseas tours did you have?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - I did two tours to OEF and three to OIF
SPARTAN117GW -what roles did you play in the Regiment?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - I played many roles in the Rangers. My first year I proved myself over other senior rangers and was my teams SAW gunner, then shortly after completing my first deployment and Ranger School was given my first fire team within the first year. After proving myself as a decorated team leader in multiple training exercises and two combat tours I became a squad leader and was given my own assault squad for two additional combat deployments. Under my command we quickly became the go-to squad for the “intense mission” and set ourselves apart in combat efficiency, mission completion and physical fitness.
SPARTAN117GW - Exceeding and setting the standard, and leading the way! Tell us about the gear you ran and the midset of being a Ranger, storming the castle, and in general kicking ass?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - We were very spoiled in the Rangers with the quality of gear we received. From Oakley gloves and glasses to Merrill boots. We were also given top of the line knifes, flashlights, Garmin’s, plate carries, mags, helmets, combat shirts and clothes, ect. Obviously I cannot say all the perks and toys we were given. As for the mindset of a Ranger…You know you are the most deadly man in the world and fear no other human being or situation. To “Storm the Castle” is the most adrenaline packed, mind shaping experience you can ever imagine. To know you are face to face and bullet to bullet with a well-trained enemy and to come out on top is an almost god like feeling.
SPARTAN117GW - What are some of your fondest memories playing video games?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - Some of my fondest memories playing video games are of both spending times with my Rangers as a squad leader playing FPS games overseas and being able to bond with them as well as being back in the rear. Playing Xbox and kicking back a few beers in the barracks with my boys.
SPARTAN117GW - When did you start playing and what games did you play?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - The first game I can remember playing is “Battle Toads” for Nintendo
SPARTAN117GW - did you play a lot of games with your buddies while in the Rangers.
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - To be honest most of my off time while in the Rangers was spent celebrating life “drinking, fighting, Ranger buddies and ladies” although we would often pre-game for the evenings with FPS games and drinks several times a week. While overseas when we weren’t training or conducting combat missions we we often grabbed the controllers, forgot about rank and compete over Shooters.
SPARTAN117GW - What kind of activities do you enjoy on your free time?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - On my free time I enjoy hunting, working out, competitive sports, paintballing, riding my Harley, camping, traveling, and movies.
SPARTAN117GW - How has your life changed since you left the army?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - Since leaving the army my life has went from 100 mph to 10. There is no substitute for Rangering but stay I very connected with Ranger community. Also, I am now able to travel, hunt and check off all the things I had longed to do while in the military. I have never lost my edge of longing for competition or to be the best. Just channeled it into my carrier and personal interest.
SPARTAN117GW -You spoke about how you’re doing ESPN commercials, TV shows, and other things in the business. Can you tell us about that?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - During my short time I spent in Los Angeles, CA I have been very fortunate in the entertainment world. I now have a national commercial on ESPN, two competitive shows representing the army and myself, countless promotion jobs as well as several modeling prints for magazines. I am now in the running to host a military/weapons show on the history channel.
SPARTAN117GW – Hosting your own show? That sounds awesome. Speaking of shows how did you get involved with The Controller Medal of Honor Warfighter?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - I was actually contacted by the production team of the Controller. They were looking for decorated combat veterans that had character and charisma and were given my contact information from another production co. After my interview with them they immediately told me to get ready because they wanted me to join the cast.
SPARTAN117GW - Sounds like they did not hesitate once you got on their radar. So how did it feel to Ranger Up once more?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - It felt great to get back in the boots and represent myself, the Army and Rangers. Although we were not given many chances to shoot in the controller, it was very rewarding to share my knowledge with my partner and others watching (although they cut most of it out due to time restraints of show). The veterans are given one chance to show our skills and I definitely don’t disappoint.
SPARTAN117GW – I can’t wait to see that! So you got to work with a civilian on the show, how was the relationship between you and your partner? Majority of the season you guys are knocking it out of the park.
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -My relationship with my partner on the controller was both professional and leisurely. Hex was a sponge when it came to me sharing my skills and we spend several hours after the cameras were off going over fundamentals. His willingness to trust me and do as I instructed definitely set us apart. We also shared a lot of time joking and goofing off. We had the best “friend” relationship between all the competitors and were able to relax, joke and goof off.
SPARTAN117GW – That’s great how you guys were able to really meld as a team. It is really clear from the audience perspective that you guys worked really well together. The show had other veterans as well. How was it working, interacting, and competing with them. -
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -Working with the other veterans on the show was very eye opening. It made it extremely noticeable how more advanced I was with my skills, fitness level and training then the other branches. It seemed that a few may have lied about there “resumes.”
SPARTAN117GW – Hex sounds like a pretty cool guy. How would you describe the experience behind the controller and keyboard under his instruction?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) - It was great to work with my partner, he was a very quick learner and a great teacher. His humor and personality made the time spent during the production a pleasure. It was quite a challenge to play on the keyboard as it was my first time. I took my competitiveness of being the best to the gaming aspect and absorbed all that my partner had to share and just let my hand eye coordination take the reins.
SPARTAN117GW - How would you describe the challenges you faced on the show.
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -My biggest challenge on the show was keeping my cool and rolling with the punches as the production team tried to even out the scores and change the competition due to our success. The actual challenges were a lot of fun and I was amazed by the level of explosions and weaponry they had at our disposal.
SPARTAN117GW- So now that you have played the game, will you be picking up Medal of Honor Warfighter?
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -I will absolutely be picking up MOH as soon as it hits the shelves and I get an Xbox. The gameplay was great and a lot of fun playing with friends.
SPARTAN117GW – Sweet, So you had a chance to check out our site. What are some of the things you like about Off Duty Gamers ever since you saw the site.
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -The Site looks awesome and well put together. Definitely like the concept of military minds combined and on such a wide variety of subjects (gear to games). I very much like that ODG have created a community of both active and non-active soldiers to share there no BS options about games and gear. All too often games and gear are non-realistic and go unnoticed by people who don’t know any better. But when soldiers pick up these games and gear they can immediately find the holes and unpractical aspects and it turns into a joke.
SPARTAN117GW - So we are about to wrap up but before we go we want to let everyone know that we have invited you to come on board ODG! What are some of the skills and trades you will be bringing to Off Duty Gamers.
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -I believe I would be a great asset to ODG with my combat and Special Operation knowledge of tactics, training, weapons, gear, and military lingo. I would be a great representative on the west coast with my ability to interview and host. Also my experience doesn’t end with the military, I am a extremely experience hunter, outdoors man and conduct private security so my knowledge of civilian gear and there applications is very vast. Think I can have a positive influence on the site.
SPARTAN117GW – Excellent! Well that about wraps it up. I would like to thank you on behalf of ODG for taking the time to talk to us.
Steven Bell (TFRanger) -Thank you again for taken time to talk on Skype!
I would like to personally welcome Steven Bell (who will be known as TFRanger) on board to Off Duty Gamers. I am certain his skills and his knowledge will prove invaluable to the success to our community. TFRanger will be helping out on the Xbox side of the crew giving his feedback on the latest and greatest shooting games as well as other aspects of our daily lives like gear and tactics. It is always great to bring a fellow brother into the group. Bottom line we strive to keep the veteran community tight because of all the brotherhoods that we know. This is the one that counts.
The Season Finale just hit the web recently. Check out who is crowned the victor of the controller by watching the video below.
If you would like to watch the whole season click on the link below.
Medal of Honor is currently available on the market. We will be playing Medal of Honor on future Tactical Tuesdays Stay tuned for the next event!