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Brigadier General Trent Scates

Director of the Joint Staff

Brigadier General Trent Scates is the Director of the Joint Staff for the Tennessee National Guard. Brig. Gen. Scates has 33 years of service in the military. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School at the Tennessee Military Academy in 1993., following an enlisted career as a heavy equipment operator in the 913th Engineer Company in Union City, Tennessee. He spent most of his career learning and developing his leadership while assigned to multiple levels of command within the 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard. 

His military education includes Engineer Officer Basic Course, Ordnance Officer Advanced Course, Intermediate Level Education Course, and Army War College. He holds a Master in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Alderson Broaddus College, a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Brig. Gen. Scates commanded engineer units at the company, battalion, and brigade levels. He served as an Assistant Operations Officer with the 194th Engineer Brigade in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and as the S1 with the 194th Engineer Brigade, Theater Engineer Brigade, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009-2010. He served as executive officer of the 194th Engineer Brigade, Theater Engineer Brigade, in support of Operation(s) Spartan Shield, Operation Freedom Sentinel and Inherent Resolve in 2019-2020.

His most recent Tennessee assignment was serving as the J3/JDOMS, Tennessee National Guard. His experience within the joint domestic, multi-echelon and multi-theater operational mission sets provides a unique perspective to the Army National Guard Staff.  His planning and command participation in domestic operations, the State Partnership Program, and multiple joint projects include military police operations in support of domestic events, All-Hazard domestic operation support within the state of Tennessee, Hurricane Ian, multiple joint projects in support of combat operations in EUCOM and CENTCOM /Middle East area of operations and multiple Tennessee Maneuvers domestic training operations exercise.

The majority of his service years have been as a traditional M-Day soldier. Brig. Gen. Scates is a Certified Physician Assistant, licensed in Tennessee. He is currently the Program Director and an Associate Professor with the Bethel University Physician Assistant Program in Paris, Tennessee.  During his career in medicine as a Physician Assistant, he has worked in Family Practice and Internal Medicine/Nephrology providing medical services within the outpatient clinic setting and dialysis centers. He was selected as the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants PA of the Year in 2016.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (with 1 Silver and 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star), Iraq Campaign Medal (with 2 Campaign Stars), Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal,  Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Gold Hour Glass and M Device, Overseas Service Medal with Numeral 3, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon with Numeral 4,Tennessee National Guard Distinguished Service Ribbon, Tennessee Commendation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Tennessee War Service Ribbon, Tennessee National Guard Service with Veterans Star, Tennessee Volunteer Ribbon along with numerous other federal and state awards.

(As of 1 November 2023)