John Coates (general)

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Henry John Coates
John Coates DA-SC-90-07037.jpg
Major General John Coates in 1985.
Born (1932-12-28) 28 December 1932 (age 82)
Adelaide, South Australia
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1953–1992
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Chief of the General Staff (1990–92)
Royal Military College, Duntroon (1983–84)
3rd Cavalry Regiment (1971)
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Member of the Order of the British Empire

Lieutenant General Henry John Coates ACMBE (born 28 December 1932) is a former senior officer in the Australian Army who served as Chief of the General Staff from 1990 to 1992. Since retiring from the Army he has become an author and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Defence Force Academy branch of the University of New South Wales, pursuing aspects of Australia's military history.

Early life[edit]

Coates was born in Adelaide, South Australia, on 28 December 1932 to George Coates and his wife Gwenyth (née Begg).[1] Educated at Ipswich Grammar School in Queensland, Coates graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in 1955.[2]

Military career[edit]

Coates was granted his first regimental posting in 1956 to the 1st Armoured Regiment. He served with the unit until 1958, when he was promoted to captain and reassigned as adjutant of the 10th Light Horse Regiment for a period of two years.[1] He secured a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia in 1962, before completing Honours at the Australian National University in 1965.[2]

Coates was posted to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and, as a major, was deployed to Vietnam,[3] for which he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1971.[4] He secured an Master of Arts from the Australian National University in 1975.[2] He subsequently became Commanding Officer of his Regiment.[5]

Coates was appointed Commandant of the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1983,[2] moving on to be Head of the Defence Staff in Washington, D.C. in 1984;[2] he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1987 in recognition of his service there.[6]

Coates was made Assistant Chief Defence Force (Policy) in 1987[2] and appointed Chief of the General Staff in 1990; he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1992 in recognition of his service to the Australian Army, particularly in that role.[7]

Retirement[edit]

In retirement he has written a number of books about the Australian Army and Australian military history more generally. These include:

  • Suppressing insurgency: an analysis of the Malayan Emergency, 1948–1954 (1992)[8]
  • Review of the Ready Reserve scheme (co-authored with Hugh Smith, 1995)
  • Bravery above blunder: the 9th Division at Finschhafen, Sattelberg and Sio (1999)[9]
  • The Australian centenary history of defence, co-editor (2001)
  • An atlas of Australia's wars volume 7 of The Australian centenary history of defence (OUP, Melbourne, 2001)
  • An atlas of Australia's wars, 2nd edition 2006.

He is also a Visiting Fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Australian Defence Force Academy campus of the University of New South Wales (UNSW@ADFA).[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Lieutenant General Henry John Coates". Who's Who in Australia Online. ConnectWeb. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Papers of John Coates, 1916–1994, MS 366, Academy Library, UNSW@ADFA
  3. ^ Henry John COATES Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans, www.vietnamroll.gov.au
  4. ^ Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), 21 December 1971, It's an Honour
    Gazetted: 16 December 1971, page 7595, position 7
  5. ^ 17023 Lieutenant General Henry John Coates, (Rtd), Australian Military Units, Australian War Memorial
  6. ^ Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), 26 January 1987, It's an honour
  7. ^ Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), 26 January 1992, It's an Honour
  8. ^ Coates, John (1992). Suppressing insurgency : an analysis of the Malayan Emergency, 1948–1954. Westview Press, Boulder. ISBN 978-0-8133-1436-5. 
  9. ^ Coates, John (1999). Bravery Above Blunder: The 9th Australian Division at Finschhafen, Sattelberg and Sio. Oxford University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-550837-8. 
  10. ^ Lieutenant General John Coates, Visiting Fellow, Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW@ADFA

Further reading[edit]

  • Bio of Major General John Coates, appearing at the end of Moral on the Battlefield, Defence Force Journal, No. 45, March/April 1984, p. 16
  • Who's who in Australia 2007, p. 469–470.
  • MBE – Major John Coates, Awards and Decorations – 3rd Cavalry Regiment, www.australian-armour.com

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant General Lawrence O'Donnell
Chief of the General Staff
1990–1992
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General John Grey