Gregg K. Kakesako
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, whose paternal grandmother immigrated to Hawai‘i as a picture bride and whose father witnessed the start of America’s war with Japan from the kitchen window of his family’s Wahiawä home and went on to serve in the predominantly Nisei Military Intelligence Service in World War II, has been nominated to receive his fourth star. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Nakasone will become only the fourth American of Japanese ancestry to earn the prestigious military rank.
The sansei Nakasone, who hails from a family with deep roots in Wahiawä, has also been nominated to lead one of the nation’s top intelligence posts as commander of the Pentagon’s digital warfare organization, U.S. Cyber Command; and director of the National Security Agency. The NSA employs a civilian workforce of about 21,000 and is the largest producer of intelligence information among the nation’s 17 spy agencies.
Rob Joyce, the Trump administration’s senior cyber coordinator and special assistant to the president, announced Nakasone’s new assignments in a January tweet. Joyce, who previously ran the National Security Agency’s Office of Tailored Access Operations, which is the agency’s hacking division, praised Nakasone’s strong background in cyber issues. He described Nakasone as “an exceptional leader for two exceptional organizations; he brings great experience and strong cyber background.”
Gen. Nakasone declined comment on his possible new assignments, saying only that he is awaiting action by the Senate.
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Gregg K. Kakesako worked for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Gannett News Service and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for more than four decades as a government, political and military affairs reporter and assistant city editor.