Sergeant Major Bates is from Mt. Zion, IL and he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 21 June 1988 and reported to MCRD Parris Island SC for recruit training 13 June 1989. Upon completion of recruit training with a meritorious promotion to Private First Class, he reported to Marine Combat Training Camp Geiger, NC for training and after graduation he transferred to Marine Corps Communications Electronics School, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, CA and attended the Field Radio Operators Course. After graduating with a meritorious promotion, Lance Corporal Bates was transferred to Okinawa, Japan.
In February 1990, Lance Corporal Bates received orders to 2nd Battalion 12th Marine Regiment, Headquarters Battery, Third Marine Division where he served as a Field Radio Operator. During this tour Lance Corporal Bates deployed to Mt. Fuji, Japan and participated in the Desert Shield/Storm Campaign.
In April 1991, Lance Corporal Bates received orders to 2d Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, NC. Corporal Bates participated in the Desert Shield/Storm Campaign with 24th MEU and served aboard the USS Inchon as the Communications Chief for the MACG-28 Detachment. During this period Corporal Bates attended and completed the Alpine Warrior Course at Ft. McCoy, WI.
In April 1994, upon returning from the Desert Shield/Storm Campaign, Corporal Bates received orders to Marine Corps Communications Electronics School, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, CA as a Field Radio Operators Course Instructor. In October 1994, Corporal Bates was selected to lateral move to the Mutli-channel Operator MOS. During MOS school he was promoted to Sergeant.
In January 1995, Sergeant Bates received orders to Communication Company, 3d Force Service Support Group. During this time Sergeant Bates served as MUX Supervisor and Platoon Sergeant for the Tri-Tac Platoon. In June 1995 Sergeant Bates was assigned to the Assistant Chief of Staff G-6 as the DSN Chief and Platoon Sergeant until December 1998.
Sergeant Bates received orders to Drill Instructor School, Parris Island, SC in January 1998. Upon graduation in March 1998, Drill Instructor Sergeant Bates reported for duty with Recruit Training Regiment, 1st Battalion, Alpha Company. During this period Sergeant Bates was promoted to Staff Sergeant and served as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and Series Gunnery Sergeant until December 2000.
Staff Sergeant Bates transferred to 3d Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, Japan in January 2001 and served as the Company Gunnery Sergeant for Communications Company. There he served as a Communication Chief for two deployments to the Peoples Republic of Laos for Joint Task Force – Full Accounting. Staff Sergeant Bates received orders in June 2002 to the Staff Non-Commissioned Officers Academy, Marine Corps Base, Okinawa, Japan as the Operations Chief for the Academy. Staff Sergeant Bates was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant and served as a faculty advisor, Chief Instructor and SNCOIC for the Sergeants course until May 2006.
Gunnery Sergeant Bates was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant in May 2006 and received orders to 3d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC. He served as the Company First Sergeant for Lima Company and Headquarters and Service Company where he deployed to Iraq for OIF 06-08 and 07-09.
In February 2009, First Sergeant Bates transferred to Headquarters and Service Company, MCCSSS, Camp Johnson where he served as Company First Sergeant. First Sergeant Bates was selected and promoted to Sergeant Major in January 2010.
Sergeant Major Bates transferred to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 Marine Aircraft Group -14, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, NC where he deployed to Afghanistan for OEF 11-1. In February 2012 Sergeant Major Bates transferred to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS New River, NC.
Sergeant Major Bates personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold star in lieu of third award, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars in lieu of fifth award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Combat Action Ribbon and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal.