It was 1995 and they were at a party during a deployment to Cuba. But this wasn't just any pretty girl - it was Spc. Leighann Durke, and she stopped his intervention before it began.
"I got this," she said, and proceeded to "verbally crush the Soldier," said Nate.
It was love at first sight for the Ranger, who never had or wanted a steady girlfriend.
Two kids, two dogs, two houses, and 17 years later, the Trodahls are now a civilian family and proud owners of their own business.
They left the Army for the same reason - to begin a family.
However, "the transition to civilian life was hard," he said.
He belonged to Joint Base Lewis-McChord's special operations community.
"I missed my guys and the camaraderie and often wandered back on base to hang out."
The transition was harder when he landed his first job while attending college.
"My military mindset and training didn't transfer well into corporate America," he said. "I was used to negative reinforcement - embarrassment worked in the Army, but not in the civilian world, and not with human resources."
While working as a dealer in a local casino in 2002, Nate was recruited by a State Farm agent.
"I took a $15,000 pay cut," he said. "But I had other long-term goals, and the experience was invaluable."
State Farm paid for his master's degree from Saint Martin's college, and in 2010, he opened the Nathan Trodahl Insurance Agency in Puyallup. Of the 25 State Farm agents in the state, Nate - the youngest agent in the group - is rated number four in production and is ahead of others who have been in the business since 1983.
But he isn't in it for himself. "My greatest desire is to give back and pay it forward to the military community," he said. "I want to someday teach Soldiers at St. Martin's and mentor them through military life and in making that transition to civilian life. And if I can help them set up their own businesses, even better."
Nate said it's not about the money, but about helping Soldiers and comrades because he understands the life.
"I want to take care of them and their families," he said. "I want to be the one they talk to about their careers, their financial lives, their next steps. It's all about expectations - if Soldiers don't know their path, they can't manage expectations."
Nate's office offers auto, home and life insurance, mutual funds, 401K, investments, college funds, checking accounts, securities, budget planning - the whole gamut.
"Nate's the guy that'll look out for our Soldiers," said Leighann. "He'll tell you what the deal is and be straight up and honest."
For more information, visit www.nathantrodahl.com, call (253) 693-2111 or email Nate at firstname.lastname@example.org.