President Obama nominated former Nebraska United States Senator Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense during a White House ceremony.
“To help meet the challenges of our time, I’m proud to announce my choice for two key members of my security team: Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense and John Brennan for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency,” Obama stated.
Obama said Hagel is well qualified for Defense Secretary.
“Chuck Hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. He is an American patriot. He enlisted in the Army and volunteer for Vietnam. As a young private and then a sergeant, he served with honor alongside his own brother,” said Obama.
Hagel served in Vietnam as part of the United States Army’s 9th Infantry Division with his brother, Tom, in 1968.
Hagel, a Republican, served two terms in the United States Senate from 1997 to 2009.
“Mr. President, I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve our country again and especially it’s men and women in uniform and their families,” Hagel stated during the White House ceremony. “These are people who give so much to this nation every day with such dignity and selflessness.”
Hagel said he looks forward to the opportunity to serve.
“I’m also grateful for an opportunity to help continue to strengthen our country and strengthen our country’s alliances and advance global freedom, decency and humanity as we help build a better world for all mankind,” he stated.
Hagel promised the president to provide him honest advice.
“I will always do my best. I will do my best for our country, for those I represent at the Pentagon and for all our citizens,” Hagel stated. “And, Mr. President, I will always give you my honest and most informed counsel.”
Hagel has been the co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. His nomination now goes to the United States Senate.
AUDIO: President Obama nominates Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense in White House ceremony. [30 min.]