Chuck Hagel

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Next Pentagon Chief Could Be a Woman

Michèle Flournoy has been the department's highest-ranking woman

(Newser) - Following Chuck Hagel's exit as defense secretary, the obvious question is who might replace him. One leading possibility: former undersecretary of defense for policy Michèle Flournoy—the defense department's highest-ranking woman ever, ABC News reports. She stepped down in 2012 and now heads a nonpartisan national security... More »

Chuck Hagel Stepping Down as Defense Chief

One source says Hagel, Obama mutually agreed upon the move

(Newser) - President Obama on Friday decided to ask Chuck Hagel to step down, White House officials tell the New York Times , which reports that the president will announce the defense secretary's exit in a Rose Garden appearance today. The sources say the move follows two weeks of meetings that Hagel... More »

US to Screen Long-Ignored Iraq Vets for Chemical Exposure

Pentagon orders medical exams, monitoring for troops exposed in Iraq

(Newser) - Beginning in early 2015, the Pentagon will offer medical exams and health monitoring for US troops and veterans exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq, the New York Times reports. The new measure comes as part of a review from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after a Times investigation earlier this month... More »

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Military Threat

Chuck Hagel releases report at meeting in Peru

(Newser) - The Pentagon released a report today saying US military strategy must adapt to climate change because it's threatening national security, the New York Times reports. Disease, rising waters, food shortages, violent storms, droughts, and worldwide poverty could undermine US security by creating instability and mass migration, according to the... More »

Marines Helicopter Crashes With 25 on Board

But all are rescued in Gulf of Aden

(Newser) - Close call in the Arabian Sea: A group of 17 Marines and eight Navy sailors avoided serious injury today when their helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Aden, the Navy says. The CH-53E Super Stallion—a Marine Corps helicopter—was trying to land on the USS Mesa Verde's deck... More »

Military Lets Its Hair (Policy) Down, OKs Dreadlocks

Military branches to update grooming rules; old ones dubbed racist

(Newser) - The Pentagon is rolling back its grip on how military personnel wear their hair, and will now allow twisted braids, dreadlocks, and cornrows after complaints that banning them was racist, the Virginian-Pilot reports. "Each service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting... More »

Hagel Grilled on Bergdahl: 5 Standout Lines

He appears before House Armed Services Committee

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today became the first Obama administration official to testify publicly about the controversial decision to swap Bowe Bergdahl for five Gitmo prisoners, and the New York Times reports that he "wrote almost every word of his opening statement himself," canning his speechwriters' suggestions and... More »

GOP Rips Bergdahl Deal: 'We Have Now Set a Price'

Susan Rice again sent to face fallout for White House

(Newser) - Republicans are weighing in on the US-Taliban trade that yesterday set POW Bowe Bergdahl free, and they are decidedly not in favor. A sample of reactions on today's talk shows, as per Politico :
  • Mike Rogers : "The No. 1 way that al-Qaeda raises money is by ransom—kidnapping and
... More »

Hagel: Bergdahl's Life Was at Risk, So We Moved

Defense chief meets with special forces team that helped rescue

(Newser) - Bowe Bergdahl's "safety and health were both in jeopardy, and in particular his health was deteriorating," says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is on the ground in Afghanistan this morning dealing with the aftermath of yesterday's rescue of the Army sergeant held captive for five years... More »

After 20-Somethings Die, Army Fires Hospital Chief

Womack Medical Center had been cited for surgical infection control before

(Newser) - The US Army fired the commander of the Womack Army Medical Center yesterday, following the deaths of two patients in their 20s over the past 10 days. Both deaths were attributed to lapses in surgical infection control—something inspectors had dinged Womack for in March, the New York Times reports.... More »

Next Stop for Chelsea Manning: Civilian Prison?

Pentagon weighs transgender inmate's request

(Newser) - Chelsea Manning won't be allowed out of the military until she finishes her 35-year sentence for passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, but she could be on her way to a civilian prison soon. The Pentagon is trying to transfer the soldier formerly known as Bradley to a federal prison... More »

Now Under Review: Military Hairstyles

Twists, dreads were largely banned in rules some complain targeted black women

(Newser) - The military increasingly has abandoned its one-size-fits-all haircut as the face of the American soldier has diversified, but new rules on hair sparked a furor amid concerns that they unfairly restricted black women. Now Chuck Hagel has ordered a review "to ensure standards are fair and respectful of our... More »

US Sends Warships to Japan as Tensions Rise

Chuck Hagel gives warning to China on 10-day Asia trip

(Newser) - Visiting Japan today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US is sending two more ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter a possible North Korean attack, the AP reports. But he saved his sharpest remarks for China, linking Russia's takeover of Crimea with China's aggressive behavior in a... More »

Army Ousts 588 From Key Jobs in Sex Assault Review

They're accused of everything from sexual assault to drunk driving

(Newser) - The Army has kicked 588 soldiers out of "positions of trust"—jobs that include sexual assault counselors , recruiters , and drill sergeants—following a review prompted by a spike in sexual assaults. The soldiers were accused of a range of misconduct that included not just assaults, but things like... More »

Pentagon's Plan: Cut Army to Pre-WWII Level

Hagel budget moves military off 'war footing'

(Newser) - The US Army may soon shrink to a level not seen since before it geared up to fight Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan simultaneously. In a spending proposal to be unveiled today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlines plans to cut the Army to around 450,000 soldiers, its lowest level... More »

Top Gun Inspiration Makes History at Pentagon

Christine Fox is acting No. 2, highest defense post ever held by a woman

(Newser) - For someone who has spent a chunk of her career in the wonky position of budget strategist for the Pentagon, Christine Fox now has two decidedly unwonky gems on her resume:
  • President Obama today appointed her as the acting No. 2 at the Pentagon, an "unprecedented move" that gives
... More »

Defense Chief Apologizes to Medal of Honor Soldier

We lost your paperwork, says Chuck Hagel

(Newser) - Yesterday, Former Army Capt. William Swenson got the Medal of Honor for bravery from President Obama. Today, Swenson got a personal apology from the secretary of defense for taking so long to recognize his actions, reports the AP . Defense chief Chuck Hagel said Swenson's paperwork got lost in the... More »

Number of Furloughed Workers Just Got Cut in Half

Pentagon ordering about 400K back to work

(Newser) - About half of the 800,000 federal workers furloughed this week because of the government shutdown were civilians who worked for the Defense Department. And now the Pentagon is ordering most of them back to work on Monday, reports the AP . Defense chief Chuck Hagel says he can make the... More »

Ted Cruz Making Enemies on Both Sides of the Aisle

Frank Bruni thinks it will backfire; Dana Milbank blames GOP's own system

(Newser) - Ted Cruz is taking the "fast track" to Senate stardom, and that means capitalizing on conflict, writes Frank Bruni in the New York Times . He hasn't been around long, but he's already made "groundless and shameless" accusations against Chuck Hagel, offered Dianne Feinstein some constitutional pedantry,... More »

In Shooting's Wake, US Puts Security Under Microscope

Plus: Aaron Alexis was barred from buying assault rifle

(Newser) - As concerns grow over contractors' access to military bases, Washington is ordering at least three reviews of security practices. The White House is calling for a new look at "standards for contractors and employees across federal agencies," according to press secretary Jay Carney. Meanwhile, defense secretary Chuck Hagel... More »

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