Commodore Valentin Gagashev joined the Bulgarian Navy in 1972 as a cadet in Bulgarian Naval Academy in Varna.
His career includes serving as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer on MCM vessel, Commanding Officer at the MCM Squadron in the Naval Base in Bourgas as well as Chief of Staff of the Bourgas Naval Base. In the period 2005-2007 he was appointed as a Branch head, Liaison Element, at the Maritime Component Command in Naples, Italy.
Between appointments, Brigadier Admiral Gagashev studied at the Russian Naval Staff College in Sankt Petersburg and in 2001 at the Naval Command Class of Naval War College in Newport, USA. He has also completed few Staff Officers' Courses including the NATO Multinational Orientation Course at SHAPE, Belgium and the NATO Operational SO Course, Germany.
In 2007, he was appointed Head of the Strategic Planning Directorate of the Bulgarian Armed Forces General Staff.
In April 2009, he took over the position of Commander NATO HQ Skopje and Senior Military Representative.
Brigadier Admiral Gagashev speaks English and Russian. He is married to Tatyana and they have two daughters.