1893 - He was born on the 31st of August.
1916 - After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Law degree, he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserves.
1917 - He began active duty on the 13th of June.
- Cates served with the 6th Marine Regiment, fighting in France.
- For his heroism in the Aisne defensive at Boursches and Belleau Wood,
- He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross and Oak Leaf Cluster, in addition to the Purple Heart.
- He was awarded a Silver Star for his gallantry at Soissons.
- He was recognized by the French government with the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star and two palms.
1919 - Cates returned to the United States in September.
- He served in Washington, D.C. as a White House aide and Aide-de-Camp to the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
1920 - He served in San Francisco, California, as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, Department of the Pacific.
1923-1925 - He served a tour of sea duty as commander of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS California.
1929 - Cates was deployed to Shanghai, China, where he rejoined the 4th Marines, where he served for three years. He then returned to the U.S. for training at the Army Industrial College and in the Senior Course in the Marine Corps Schools.
1935 - He was assigned to the War Plans Section of the Division of Operations and Training at Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC).
1936 - He returned to Shanghai as a battalion commander with the 6th Marine Regiment.
1938 - He rejoined the 4th Marines in Shanghai.
1940 - He was named the Director of the Marine Officers Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
1942 - Col Cates took command of the 1st Marines.
1994 - After his first tour of duty in the Pacific, returned to the United States to serve as Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico.
1948 - On the 1st of January , he was promoted to the rank of General and sworn in as Commandant of the Marine Corps.
- He served as Commandant for four years and then returned to serve again as Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools.
1954 - He retired on the 30th of June.
1970 - He died on the 4th of June.
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