Rade Bulat was born on 28 August 1920 in Vrginmost in Kordun area. He came from a family of farmers. At the age of seventeen, he joined the Revolutionary Youth Movement and in 1936 he became a member of the Alliance of Antifascist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ). He led SKOJ branches at high schools in Zagreb, Sisak and Gradiška for which he was legally punished and imprisoned. In the spring of 1941 he became the secretary of the county Communist party committee, and after the April war and occupation, he actively worked on organising the uprising in Kordun.
During the WW2, as a battalion commander and then commander of the 13th Proletarian shock brigade Rade Končar, he fought in Slavonia, Dalmatia, Žumberak and around Zagreb and Karlovac. He led the establishment of the First Zagorje brigade, and on 6 June 1944, he became the commander of the 32nd Zagorje division. The end of the war found him the Tenth Zagreb corps Chief-of-staff.
After the liberation, he completed a course at the Voroshilov military academy in the Soviet Union, he also completed the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) Higher military academy and the Command and General Staff College of the US Army. He graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Zagreb. Bulat was a deputy at the Socialist Republic of Croatia parliament and member of the Croatian League of Communists. Later he was also a prominent member of the Union of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists of Croatia.
In his later years, regardless of accusations for war crimes at the end of the WW2 which were never proven, Bulat contributed to the establishment of the democratic and anti-fascist Croatia and advocated for preservation of the achievements of anti-fascism, and for good relations between Croats and Serbs. For this reason, along with his wartime colleague Josip Boljkovac, he received the Gojko Nikološ prise for promoting anti-fascism, awarded by the Serb National Council.
Bulat is bearer of the 1941 partisan memorial and of a number of other medals. He received the National hero award on 24 December 1953. Bulat died on 25 January 2013 in Zagreb and was buried in the Tomb of national heroes at the Zagreb cemetery.