Scates of Greenfield Promoted to Brigadier General
Col. Michael “Trent” Scates was promoted to the rank of brigadier general during a ceremony held at the First Baptist Church in Greenfield, March 26. Tennessee’s Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, presided over the promotion ceremony.
A large crowd of family, friends, and military personnel, including Weakley-Obion County Chancellor Mike Maloan, were in attendance to congratulate General Scates.
“Trent is an experienced leader, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor than him,” said Ross. “He adds valuable leadership experience from both his military and civilian careers to the Military Department and we are fortunate he’s on our team.”
General Scates’ promotion came after 33 years of military service.
This past January, Scates was appointed as the Assistant Adjutant General-Army for the Tennessee National Guard. He is responsible for more than 9,000 Tennessee National Guard Soldiers serving throughout the state. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Director of Joint Operations for the Tennessee National Guard and as commander of the 194th Engineer Brigade headquartered in Jackson.
Gen. Scates has always placed heavy emphasis on readiness and being trained to meet any contingency.
“Trent is a tested warrior and his numerous assignments and deployments have prepared him well for this new level of responsibility,” said Ross. “While the commander of the 194th Engineer Brigade, his Soldiers were at the forefront of domestic support. They assisted with recovery operations during the Humphreys County flood, aided hurricane relief in Louisiana, and supported statewide COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts as well as supported area hospitals by augmenting hospital staff. He is the right person to lead our state’s Army Guardsmen into the future.”
To serve as the Assistant Adjutant General-Army and be promoted to brigadier general, Scates was approved by a federal general officer recognition board, then confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and appointed by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
“I’m thankful for all of my friends, family, and fellow Soldiers who joined me here today,” said Scates during the ceremony. “If it wasn’t for your continued support throughout my military career, I would not be here. I am truly grateful for everyone’s trust and confidence in this new role I have begun.”
Scates started his military career in 1990 by enlisting in the Tennessee National Guard as a heavy equipment operator in the 913th Engineer Company. He then commissioned as an engineer officer in 1993 after attending the Tennessee National Guard’s Officer Candidate School.
Over the next 30 years, Scates served in various command and staff positions to include commander of the 230th Engineer Battalion in Trenton and commander of the 194th Engineer Brigade in Jackson. He deployed to Iraq in 2004 and again in 2009. He also served in Kuwait in 2019.
Scates holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Tennessee-Martin and a bachelor’s degree as a Physician Assistant from Trevecca University. He also has a master’s degree in medical science from Alderson-Broaddus College and is a graduate of the United States Army War College where he received his master’s degree in strategic studies.
In his civilian career, Scates is the Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Bethel University in McKenzie and works as a Physician Assistant-Certified in Family Practice/Internal Medicine at Dresden Medical Clinic in Dresden. He currently resides in Greenfield with his wife Beth, and they have three children: McCall, Matt, and Phillip.
General Scates has the distinction of being the fourth Weakley Countian to serve as an Army General. Other local military leaders to earn the rank of Army General, who are now retired, are: Major General Mike Maloan; General Alan Strawbridge, of Dresden; and Lieutenant General Dennis Cavin, of Martin.