8th SMA - Julius W. Gates

8th SMA - Julius W. Gates

Born: June 14, 1941, Piedmont region, North Carolina


  • 1958-59 Rifleman, 3d Battle Group, 6th Infantry, Berlin, Germany (break in service)
  • 1961-66 Rifle Squad Leader, 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky
  • 1966-67 Rifle Squad Leader, Company K, 2d Battalion, 502d Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, Vietnam
  • 1967-68 Platoon Sergeant, Instructor, Ranger Training Command, Ft. Benning, Georgia
  • 1969-70 Operations Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, Company K, 75th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, Vietnam
  • 1970-73 Battalion Intelligence Officer and Battalion Operations Sergeant, 2d Battalion, 54th Infantry, 1st Armored Division, Germany
  • 1974-76 Senior Instructor, Chief Instructor, Ranger Department; First Sergeant, 3d Ranger Company; Enlisted Company Commander, Basic NCO Course, Ft. Benning, Georgia
  • 1976-77 Student, Sergeants Major Academy, Ft. Bliss, Texas
  • 1977-78 First Sergeant, Company A, 1st Ranger Battalion, 5th Infantry, Ft. Stewart, Georgia
  • 1978-80 Chief Instructor, ROTC detachment, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia
  • 1980-84 Command Sergeant Major, 2d Battalion, 50th Infantry, 2d Armored Division (Forward), Garlstadt, Germany
  • 1984-85 Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Ft. Bliss, Texas
  • 1985-87 Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Forces Korea/Eighth U.S. Army, Yong Son, Korea
  • 1987-91 Sergeant Major of the Army

Significant Accomplishments as SMA

To SMA Gates, training remained the Army's most critical issue. The NCO Battle Staff Course, a new NCO Evaluation Report, and the Self-Development Test- a Replacement for the Skill Qualification Test- were firmly established during SMA Gates' tenure. Working closely with Chief of Staff General Carl E. Vuono, SMA Gates assisted with the success of the "Year of Training" followed by the "Year of the NCO." SMA Gates believed that a strong NCO corps was critical for a strong Army. He regarded with pride the many accomplishments made during his term of office, including the first NCO historical volume, The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps; the introduction of Army Field Manual 25-101, Battle Focused Training, which defined the training role of the noncommissioned officer; and the launching of the NCO Journal as an official publication; Operation JUST CAUSE (December 1989) and Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM (August 1990-April 1991.)

Selected Decorations and Awards

  • Distinguished Service Medal
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit
  • Bronze Star Medal with V Device and 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Purple Heart
  • Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Air Medal
  • Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • Army of Occupation Medal
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • NCO Professional Development Ribbon
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Overseas Service Ribbon
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Combat Infantryman Badge