General Bargfrede enlisted into the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1980. He received his commission from the ROTC program at South Dakota State University in 1983.
General Bargfrede was branched Field Artillery and served in various positions at the Battery and Battalion level with the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery as well as staff positions with the 34th Infantry Division Artillery. He graduated from SDSU in 1986 with a degree in Agriculture.
General Bargfrede transferred to the Iowa National Guard in 1993 and served as the Battalion Operations Officer, Battalion Executive Officer and Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery. From 2000-2007 General Bargfrede was assigned as the program manager for the Digital Training Development Center and Distributed Learning Branch Chief for National Guard Bureau-Army Training Division, Arlington, VA. In 2007, he assumed command of the 185th Regional Training Institute, Camp Dodge, Iowa.
In 2009, General Bargfrede was selected to command the 734th Agri-Business Development Team, Johnston, IA. This team deployed to Kunar Province, Afghanistan from July 2010 to June 2011. In August 2011 he assumed his current duties of Assistant Adjutant General-Army. General Bargfrede completed the United States Army War College and earned a Master of Science, Strategic Studies, Carlisle Barracks, PA, in 2004. In 2009, he earned a Master in Public Administration from Drake College of Business, Des Moines, IA.
General Bargfrede has earned numerous awards to include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (4th award), Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (8th award), National Defense Service Ribbon (2nd award), Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Award, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/30 year device gold, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Afghanistan Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Combat Action Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, Iowa Service Ribbon, Minnesota Service Ribbon, and the Minnesota Active Duty Ribbon.
General Bargfrede's civilian occupation is as the Recovery Bureau Operations Chief for Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management.