The Pentagon, Washington, DC. Brigadier General Michael K. Nagata was promoted to Major General in the United States Army in a ceremony held in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes on September 5, 2012. Present at the ceremony were General Nagata’s wife Barbara and their two youngest of five children, referred to by him as the “Love of my Life.”
General Nagata’s father, retired Army Colonel William Nagata, and his mother, Frances, both from Honolulu, Hawaii, were also present as were General Nagata’s mother-in-law and father-in-law. Nagata was born in Alexandria, Virginia, during his father’s assignment at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and went to schools at various overseas and domestic locations where his father was assigned.
General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, presided over the ceremony. General Dempsey commented that the room looked like a meeting of the National Security Council in the White House Situation Room because of the number of dignitaries attending the ceremony. These included General David Petraeus, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Vice Admiral Kurt Tidd, the Director of Operations for the Joint Staff; and Lieutenant General Ray Palumbo, the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Intelligence for Warfighter Support. General Dempsey’s comments also referred to the fact that, in numerous National Security Council meetings, General Nagata is called upon to provide expert analysis pertaining to terrorism, insurgencies, and special operations.
General Nagata received his commission in 1982 and has served the majority of his 30 years in Special Operations Units engaged in combating terrorism and insurgency. He has served in Korea, Okinawa, Somalia, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other locations. He completed a tour as the Deputy Chief, Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan in 2011 before becoming the Deputy Director of Special Operations on the Joint Staff. He will remain in that position for the immediate future.