Major General Bates spent the first three years of his distinguished 32 year career as a Platoon Leader and staff officer with the 1st Armored Division in Germany. His remaining 29 years were in Quartermaster mission-related assignments of increasing responsibilities. These included the following command assignments: Commander, 600th Quartermaster Company, Fort Bragg; Commander, 204th Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Carson; Commander, 23rd Quartermaster Brigade, Fort Lee; Deputy Commander, 1st Corps Support Command, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg; Deputy Commander, and later Commanding General, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Dallas, Texas; and Commanding General, 19th Theater Support Command, Eighth United States Army, Korea.
General Bates major staff assignments included: Aide-de Camp to the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, Cameron Station, Alexandria, VA; Chief Plans Office, G-4 (Logistics), 2nd Infantry Division, Eighth United Army, Korea; Maintenance Officer and later Executive Officer, 782nd Maintenance Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg; Senior Instructor, Advanced Course Division, and later Chief, Basic Course Division, the United States Army Quartermaster School; Executive Officer, Division Support Command, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Carson; Director of Logistics, United States Special Operations Command, Europe; Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4/J-4/G-4,United Nations Combined Forces Command/United States Forces, Korea/Eighth United States Army, Korea.
General Bates’ awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Parachutist Rigger Badge, and the Ranger Tab.
General Bates is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and was commissioned through its ROTC Program. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Quartermaster Officer Advanced Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He received a Master of Science Degree in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.