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Biography of the Deputy Superintendent / Chief of Staff

Captain Bates

Captain James Bates

Captain James Bates, a native of Bethlehem, Connecticut, enlisted in the United States Navy in 1987. Following boot camp, he completed Naval Aircrew Candidate School, Rescue Swimmer School, and Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator "A" School. After initial training in the SH-3H Sea King he reported to the "Sea Griffins" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 9, deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on her maiden voyage; he deployed again in 1990 in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. At the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm, then-Petty Officer 2nd Class Bates accepted an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. 

He commissioned and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in History; he went on to earn his Wings of Gold in November 1996 and then reported to Fighter Squadron (VF) 101, the F-14 Tomcat Fleet Replacement Squadron.

Bates’ initial fleet assignment was with the “Black Knights” of Fighter Squadron (VF) 154, forward deployed to Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan. He deployed aboard USS Independence (CV 62) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in support of Operation Southern Watch. His training officer tour was with the “Black Lions” of Fighter Squadron (VF) 213. As a department head, he served as the administration and maintenance officer with the “Black Lions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Bates commanded the “Bounty Hunters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2. During his tour, the “Bounty Hunters” earned the Battle Effectiveness Award (Battle “E”); the Rear Adm. C. Wade McClusky award as the Navy's top Strike Fighter squadron; and completed an eight-month, around-the-world deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Bates most recently commanded Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet – the largest Type Wing in Naval Aviation – from December 2018 to May 2020.

Bates’ tours ashore include Strike Weapons and Tactics School, Atlantic (SWATSLANT) and Strike Fighter Weapons School, Atlantic (SFWSL) as a strike fighter tactics instructor; USMC Command and Staff College; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 as the training officer; and U.S. Special Operations Command as the deputy for Policy (J52).  

He assumed the role of deputy superintendent/chief of staff of the United States Naval Academy in July 2020.

Bates’ personal awards and decorations include: 1989 Naval Aircrewman of the Year; 2009 Naval Flight Officer of the Year; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Navy and Marine Corps Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (two awards); Individual Action Air Medal with Combat "V" (two awards); Strike/Flight Air Medal (five awards); Joint Forces Commendation Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards, two with Combat "V"); Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards); and various unit and campaign awards.

Bates has accumulated more than 4,500 flight hours, and has completed 625 arrested landings.

Updated 7/2/2020

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