President Trump nominated Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of Army Cyber Command, on Tuesday to be the next director of the National Security Agency (NSA).

If confirmed by the Senate, Nakasone would take over the dual-hatted role of leading the country’s top intelligence gathering agency and U.S. Cyber Command, the Department of Defense’s lead cyber defense unit.

LTG Paul M. Nakasone_ ARCYBER Commanding General_release on 14OCT2016
LTG Paul M. Nakasone_ ARCYBER Commanding General_release on 14OCT2016

Nakasone would succeed Adm. Mike Rogers, who previously detailed plans to retire in the spring.

Rob Joyce, the White House cyber security coordinator, first announced Nakasone’s nomination in a Tweet Tuesday evening.

“Congratulations to Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, nominated as Director NSA & Commander,U.S. Cyber Command, a [position] that will earn him his 4th star! An exceptional leader for two exceptional [organizations], he brings great experience and strong cyber background,” Joyce wrote.

Nakasone has led Army Cyber Command since October 2016, and previously oversaw U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force.

The dual-hat leadership position Nakasone has been nominated for has faced continued discussion about possibly being split into separate roles. Cyber Command was elevated to a unified combatant command in August 2017, and DoD officials have expressed concern that the agency needs unified leadership to best execute its operational strategies (Defense Daily, Nov. 29).