Paul M. Nakasone

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Paul M. Nakasone
General Paul M. Nakasone (NSA).jpg
3rd Commander of United States Cyber Command
Assumed office
May 4, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded byMichael S. Rogers
18th Director of the National Security Agency
Assumed office
May 4, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Joe Biden
DeputyGeorge Barnes
Preceded byMichael S. Rogers
Personal details
Born (1963-11-19) November 19, 1963 (age 57)
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
EducationSaint John's University (BA)
University of Southern California (MA)
National Intelligence University (MA)
United States Army War College (MA)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1986–present
CommandsUnited States Army Cyber Command
Second United States Army
Director of Intelligence, J2
International Security Assistance Force
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Iraq War
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (4)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal

Paul Miki Nakasone (Japanese: 仲宗根ミキ, born November 19, 1963)[1][2] is a four-star general in the United States Army who serves as the Commander of United States Cyber Command. He concurrently serves as the Director of the National Security Agency[3][4] and as Chief of the Central Security Service. Previously, he served as the Commander of the United States Army Cyber Command.[5][6] Nakasone took command of the United States Second Army and Cyber Command in October 2016,[6] until the Second Army's inactivation in March 2017.[7] In May 2018, he became head of the National Security Agency, the Central Security Service, and the United States Cyber Command.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Paul Nakasone is a member of the Nakasone family (仲宗根; なかそね) which can be traced back to Okinawa Prefecture. He is the son of Edwin M. Nakasone,[9] a second-generation Japanese American[10] and a retired United States Army colonel who served in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II, and Mary Anne Nakasone (née Costello).[1][2][11][12] His paternal grandparents came from Misato village in the Nakagami District, Okinawa.[13]

Nakasone grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and attended White Bear High School.[5][14][15] He is married and has four children.[1][5] Nakasone attended St. John's University, where he received a commission as military intelligence officer in 1986[16] through the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program.[1][14] Nakasone also attended the University of Southern California, the National Defense Intelligence College, and the United States Army War College, earning a Master's degree from each institution.[1][5][14][17] He also is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[6]

Military career[edit]

Nakasone casing the Second Army's colors in 2017 at its inactivation ceremony

Nakasone has commanded at the company, battalion, and brigade levels.[5] He also served in foreign assignments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea, and has served as a senior intelligence officer at the battalion, division, and corps levels.[5] Nakasone served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Deputy Director for Trans-Regional Policy in 2012 when he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and previously served as a staff officer for General Keith B. Alexander.[1][18]

Prior to promotion to lieutenant general in 2016, Nakasone was the Deputy Commanding General of United States Cyber Command and later commander of the Cyber National Mission Force at Cyber Command.[5][6][19][20][21] Nakasone has twice served as a staff officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was the Director of Intelligence, J2, for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.[5] On October 14, 2016, he took command of the United States Second Army and United States Army Cyber Command.[5][6] Nakasone was also given control of United States Cyber Command's Joint Task Force-ARES, a task-force designed to coordinate electronic counter-terrorist activities against the Islamic State.[6][22] He served as commander of the Second Army until it was inactivated for the fourth time in its history on March 31, 2017 and continued to serve as commander of United States Army Cyber Command until his appointment as NSA Director.[7]

In January 2018, it was reported that Nakasone was on the list of potential replacements for outgoing NSA Director Michael S. Rogers.[23] In February 2018, he was nominated for promotion to general.[24]

In April 2018, Nakasone was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as Director of the National Security Agency and head of the United States Cyber Command.[25] He was also promoted to the rank of general.

On January 2, 2021,the New York Times reported that General Nakasone and other officials responsible for cybersecurity missed an extensive network intrusion operation mounted by Russian cyber-criminals for over nine months. This operation is believed to have "affected upward of 250 federal agencies and businesses, that Russia aimed not at the election system but at the rest of the United States government and many large American corporations." "Those questions have taken on particular urgency given that the breach was not detected by any of the government agencies that share responsibility for cyber defense — the military’s Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, both of which are run by General Nakasone, and the Department of Homeland Security — but by a private cybersecurity company, FireEye." the Times reported.[26]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Other awards
ArmyOSB.svg ArmyOSB.svg ArmyOSB.svg ArmyOSB.svg Overseas Service Bar (x4)
Seal of the U.S. National Security Agency.svg National Security Agency Badge
Seal of the United States Cyber Command.png United States Cyber Command Badge


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kuroda, Janelle (February 10, 2012). "Japanese American Promoted To Rank Of Brigadier General, Continuing Family Legacy Of Service". Japanese American Veterans Association. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Person Details for Paul Miki Nakasone, "Minnesota Birth Index, 1935–2002"". Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Nakashima, Ellen (24 April 2018). "Senate confirms Paul Nakasone to lead the NSA, U.S. Cyber Command".
  4. ^ "Senate Confirms Nakasone to Head NSA, Cyber Command". 24 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone Commanding General, U.S. Army Cyber Command" (PDF). US Army Cyber Command. October 6, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-01-25. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Army Cyber welcomes new commander". United States Army. October 14, 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Todd Lopez, C. (April 3, 2017). "Second Army cases colors for fourth time". United States Army. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  8. ^ U.S. Cyber Command Change of Command/Command Elevation Ceremony
  9. ^ Graff, Garrett M. (2020-10-13). "The Man Who Speaks Softly—and Commands a Big Cyber Army". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  10. ^ "Son of WWII nisei receives promotion at Pentagon". Honolulu Star Advertiser. April 27, 2013.
  11. ^ "Army general (and White Bear grad) leads cyber command". White Bear Press. November 2, 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Paul Nakasone Promoted to Major General as Commander of Cyber Mission Force". Rafu Shimpo. June 16, 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  13. ^ Ryunosuke Megumi (2018). "米軍と沖縄移民の絆:ナカソネ大将" [Bond between the United States Armed Forces and Okinawan immigrants: General Nakasone] (PDF). Gekkan Hanada (Monthly Hanada). p. 275. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-10-07. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  14. ^ a b c "White Bear native earns elite military post". White Bear Press. March 6, 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Army to promote son of Hawaii-born WWII vet". Stars and Stripes. September 17, 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "USAWC in the news March 27". United States Army. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  18. ^ Kimball, Joe (June 7, 2011). "White Bear native Col. Paul Nakasone awaiting Senate confirmation as Army general". Minneapolis Post. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  19. ^ Killeen, Mike (December 11, 2015). "Cyberspace watchdog – SJU graduate heads up important military command". Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  20. ^ "PN1618 – Nomination of Maj. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone for Army, 114th Congress (2015–2016)". United States Congress. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Nakasone Assigned to Cyber National Mission Force". Signal Magazine. June 19, 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  22. ^ Hoffman, Mary-Louise (October 19, 2016). "Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone Takes Charge of Army Cyber Command". ExecutiveGov. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  23. ^ Martin Matishak; Cory Bennet (January 5, 2018). "NSA's Rogers to retire this spring". Politico.
  24. ^ "PN1594 – Nomination of Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone for Army, 115th Congress (2017–2018)". United States Congress. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  25. ^ Martin Matishak (April 24, 2018). "Senate confirms Trump's pick for NSA, Cyber Command". Politico.
  26. ^ David Sanger (January 2, 2021). "As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm". New York Times.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Edward C. Cardon
Commanding General of the United States Army Cyber Command
Succeeded by
Stephen G. Fogarty
Commanding General of the Second United States Army
Command inactivated
Preceded by
Michael S. Rogers
Commander of United States Cyber Command
Government offices
Preceded by
Michael S. Rogers
Director, National Security Agency