He graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College in 1898.
Adams served with the 20th Kansas Infantry and Regular Army from 1898-1902. He was commissioned as an infantry officer in October 1902. He saw overseas duty in the Philippines, China, and France.
He had extended duty with the adjutant general department from 1922 to 1938.
This service was followed by an appointment to Adjutant General with a rank of Major General in May 1938. He retired from service on February 28, 1942, but was recalled the next month.
He continued to serve until August 1945. Adams died on November 30, 1967.