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Hagel sworn in to lead DOD

Chuck Hagel takes oath

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel taked the oath of office, administered by Michael L. Rhodes, the Defense Department's director of administration and management, as Hagel's wife' Lilibet holds the Bible. (DOD photo)

After receiving Senate confirmation on Feb. 26, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel was confirmed the morning of Feb. 27 as secretary of the Defense Department. He is DOD's 24th defense secretary and the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Pentagon.

The confirmation came after a contentious fight in the Senate, which included sharp questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 31 and a filibuster that delayed the vote to confirm him. In a Feb. 26 statement, Vice President Joe Biden praised Hagel and his sense of duty toward the armed services.

"Wherever he is, his talent and dedication to our country are clear. He feels a deep commitment to our men and women in uniform, and as the head of the Pentagon, I know their interests will always be close to his heart," Biden said. "Most importantly, I know the president will be able to rely on Chuck’s sound, unvarnished judgment on any issue where our troops are involved. For that and many more reasons, I’m looking forward to working with Secretary Hagel."

Hagel briefly addressed DOD employees and reporters on Feb. 27 after his swearing-in, stressing his focus on teamwork as being key to effective leadership.

"I will do everything in my power to be the kind of leader you expect and deserve. The kind of leader the country deserves," Hagel said.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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