Major General Michael E. Martin, USAF, Commander, Special Operations Command – Korea

Major General Michael E. Martin, USAF 

Commander, Special Operations Command – Korea

Michael E. Martin earned an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, and shortly after received his commission into the U.S. Air Force. He earned a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has received other education provided by the U.S. military. 

He began his military career as an air traffic control officer and was later accepted into the Combat Control career field. In addition to numerous domestic postings, he served in Germany and was deployed to Afghanistan as Deputy Commanding General of NATO Special Operations Component Command and Special Operations Task Force.  

Most recently, Martin has been the Commanding General of the U.S. Special Operations Command-Korea at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. 

In the News…

The commander of U.S. Special Operations Forces in Korea said they are uncertain of Pyongyang’s military capabilities. “It’s a literal black hole,” Major General Michael E Martin said. 

When asked if the North Korean military is capable and competent by traditional military standards, General Martin replied, “I don’t know, but I have to treat them as they are. We have to. Because if we don’t and we’re dismissive, we could undershoot the target if we ever get told it’s gametime. We have to play that they can communicate amongst themselves, they do have mission-type orders, they do — potentially, not all militaries do this — empower at lower levels. I can’t tell you for sure, [but] I can’t discount it.” 

“For example, with the Taliban, we could make an educated assumption that they had SA-7s,” he said, referring to the surface-to-air missiles that a single militant could carry on his shoulder. “If you’re going to infiltrate forces early on, whether it be rotary or fixed wing [aircraft], you do have to account for that threat. That’s no different than in North Korea. My assumption is they have something similar, SA-7s or something even more lethal.” 

“I don’t know if they have full battalions or half-battalions. It’s too hard to know,” he said of the North Korean military. “So you plan for full battalions that you’re going to face.” 


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