Colonel Robert J. Coates
U.S. MARINE CORPS RETIRED
Robert Coates is a lifelong Marine, serving for 32 plus years in the U.S. Marine Corps and rising to the rank of colonel by the time he retired in 2009. He joined the Marines in 1977 upon graduation from University of South Carolina and occupied a wide variety of roles across myriad company and battalion posts: company grade officer, field grade officer and commander, in areas including operational forces, reconnaissance, intelligence and counter-terrorism. He also has trained thousands of troops in combat methods, weapons use, amphibious operations and other skills. In 2004, Col. Coates deployed to Iraq for combat duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in 2006 he was assigned to Al Anbar, Iraq to help train Iraqi Security Forces. Upon returning from Iraq in 2007, Col. Coates served as Assistant Chief of Staff at the Marine Corps’ Training & Experimentation Group, which works on advanced technology such as full-immersion combat training systems. His military medals include two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and four Meritorious Service Medals, as well as the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.