FORT MEADE, Md. – General Timothy D. Haugh, U.S. Air Force, assumed command of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the National Security Agency (NSA)/Central Security Service (CSS) on February 2, 2024, during a change of command, directorship, and responsibility ceremony at USCYBERCOM/NSA/CSS Headquarters. The ceremony marked the transition of leadership from General Paul M. Nakasone, U.S. Army, to General Haugh.
“I am honored to begin my role as Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency, and Chief of the Central Security Service," General Haugh said. “Having served in both USCYBERCOM and NSA, I have seen our workforce do incredible things on behalf of the nation, creating a unique advantage that has kept us ahead of our adversaries. I have full confidence in our ability to achieve our goals, because I know that the people of the USCYBERCOM and NSA/CSS are standing ready to tackle any challenge that comes their way.”
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition symbolizing the transfer of authority and responsibility for military units, often marked by the exchange of flags. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks and Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines presided over the ceremony, which was attended by senior military and civilian leaders, as well as distinguished guests and family members.
General Haugh’s career is a testament to the unique talents that are necessary for a leader in the cyber and intelligence domains. Ever-evolving, transnational threats require a swift strategist who excels across the full spectrum of cybersecurity operations and who has the diplomatic skills to navigate the domestic and foreign partnerships necessary to defend the nation. A leader of USCYBERCOM, the NSA, and the CSS also needs sharp technical wisdom to anticipate the next cyberattack.
General Haugh has a deep background in cyber operations and intelligence, having served in leadership positions at Sixteenth Air Force, Air Forces Cyber, the Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber, and in the Intelligence Community, where he worked closely with the NSA while on multiple tours.
Upon General Haugh's confirmation, Director Haines issued a statement lauding his experience and service.
“He also has a tremendous reputation as a man of integrity and a manager who cares about his workforce,” Director Haines said. “I am grateful to him for taking on this critically important leadership role in our Intelligence Community and very much look forward to working with him in his new position.”
While the ceremony welcomed General Haugh to a new leadership role, it also marked a significant transition for General Nakasone's career as his exemplary service comes to end, and his retirement marks the beginning of the next chapter of his life.
General Nakasone has served as Commander, USCYBERCOM, and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service (NSA/CSS), since May 2018. Leading a historic transformation, Nakasone's legacy stretches far beyond simply commanding USCYBERCOM.
In 2018, General Nakasone steered the organization through a critical inflection point, taking the helm as it ascended to the prestigious status of a unified combatant command. This historic elevation signified a new era for both USCYBERCOM and military cyber operations, granting the organization heightened autonomy and resources to confront the ever-evolving threats in cyberspace. General Nakasone's leadership proved instrumental in this groundbreaking transformation, laying the foundation for USCYBERCOM's current prominence on the global cybersecurity stage.
The close teamwork between USCYBERCOM and NSA/CSS, which began with the Russia Small Group, matured under General Nakasone on nearly every endeavor, and allowed the two organizations to effectively navigate an evolving threat landscape. He leaned on both workforces’ expertise to meet the rise of China as the nation’s greatest strategic competitor, rapidly respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and provide essential intelligence for events in the Middle East. Prioritizing external partnership and innovation, he greatly expanded the cybersecurity mission, established the unclassified Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, and announced the formation of the Artificial Intelligence Security Center.
“I am most proud that USCYBERCOM, and particularly NSA/CSS, have maintained the trust and confidence of the American people,” General Nakasone said. “I believe our collective actions across our SIGINT, cybersecurity and cyberspace operational missions have demonstrated to our people that we are worthy of this trust.”
A highly decorated officer with extensive experience in intelligence and cyber operations, he served in command and staff positions across all levels of the Army throughout his distinguished career. General Nakasone reflected on his service as he retired from the military.
“Stepping down after 37 years of service fills me with immense pride and deep satisfaction," General Nakasone said. "Leading the incredible men and women of USCYBERCOM, NSA, and CSS has been the honor of my lifetime. Together, we have navigated a dynamic cyberspace landscape, evolving our operations and safeguarding our nation against ever-escalating threats. While I bid farewell to active duty, I look forward to spending time with my family and reflecting on the legacy we have built together.”