Lieutenant General Michael K. Nagata assumed the position of Director, Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center on May 13, 2016. Previously, LTG Nagata served as the Commander, Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), a sub-unified command of CENTCOM, from June 2013 to October 2015. A native of Virginia, Lieutenant General Nagata graduated from Georgia State University and commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1982. He initially served as a Platoon Leader in the 2d Infantry Division before volunteering for Army Special Forces in 1984.
Throughout his career he served in various positions within Army Special Forces to include: Detachment Commander, Executive Officer, Battalion S-3, Operations Center Director, BN Executive Officer, and Group Operations Officer. Later, he served as the Commander of 1st BN, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, responsible for the Special Forces Qualification Course. In 1990, he volunteered and assessed for a Special Missions Unit (SMU), in which he served at various times throughout his career as a Troop Commander, Operations Officer, Squadron Commander, and SMU Commander.
After graduating from the National War College, Lieutenant General Nagata served in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. He then served within the Intelligence Community as a Deputy Director for Counter Terrorism. As a general officer, he has served as the Deputy Chief, Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan (ODRP), the Deputy Director for Special Operations and Counter Terrorism (J-37) of the Joint Staff, and Commander, SOCCENT.