Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that he would be stepping down from his position overseeing the Department of Defense. Hagel, who served in the Army during Vietnam, is the 24th Secretary of Defense.
Speaking from the State Dining Room of the White House, President Obama noted that Secretary Hagel has helped to oversee a significant period of transition for both the Pentagon and the country:
The draw-down in Afghanistan, the need to prepare our forces for future missions and tough fiscal choices to keep our military strong and ready. Over nearly two years, Chuck has been an exemplary Defense Secretary, providing a steady hand as we modernized our strategy and budget to meet long-term threats, while still responding to immediate challenges like ISIL and Ebola. Thanks to Chuck, our military is on a firmer footing, engaged in these missions and looking ahead to the future.