He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry from Ohio University in 1950. In 1952, Arter served with the 35th Regimental Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, in of Korea. From 1956-1960, after attending the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, he was assigned as an operations officer for the Infantry School.
Upon completion of the United States. Air Force Air Command and Staff College in 1962, he held numerous command and staff positions before being sent to the Republic of Vietnam.
In 1968, he assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 506th Airborne Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). He returned to Vietnam in 1971 to command the First Brigade, 101st.
In 1991, Arter briefly held the position of Superintendent of Wentworth Military Academy. In February 2006, he was named as a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for Kansas.
In addition, Arter serves on the Governor's Military Council for the state of Kansas.
He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Armed Forces Bank in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for a number of years and remains as a member of the board.