Chuck Hagel

Hagel mad at homophobic actions against National Guard

Hagel mad at homophobic actions against National Guard

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday sharply criticized U.S. states that are defying the Pentagon by refusing to allow National Guard facilities to issue ID cards that enable same-sex spouses of military members to claim benefits. “This is wrong,” Hagel said in a speech in New York. “Not only does this violate the states’ obligation […]

Charity picks up tab for military death benefits

Charity picks up tab for military death benefits

The Obama administration, scrambling to tamp down a controversy over suspended death benefits for the families of fallen troops, announced Wednesday that a charity would pick up the costs of the payments during the government shutdown. “The Fisher House Foundation will provide the families of the fallen with the benefits they so richly deserve,” Defense […]

Chuck Hagel: Government shutdown ‘astoundingly irresponsible’

Chuck Hagel: Government shutdown ‘astoundingly irresponsible’

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel appealed on Saturday for lawmakers to take action to avert a government shutdown next week, saying it was “astoundingly irresponsible” to try to influence policymaking by triggering a funding crisis. Hagel, speaking to reporters en route to Seoul to mark the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea defense alliance, said he […]

After Syria debacle, can Obama regain any momentum?

After Syria debacle, can Obama regain any momentum?

With a military strike against Syria on hold, President Barack Obama tried Thursday to reignite momentum for his second-term domestic agenda. But his progress could hinge on the strength of his standing on Capitol Hill after what even allies acknowledge were missteps in the latest foreign crisis. “It is still important to recognize that we […]

Obama’s Syria proposal faces tough hearing in the House

Obama’s Syria proposal faces tough hearing in the House

The Obama administration is facing a tougher examination of its plans for military intervention in Syria, squaring off against tea party Republicans and other skeptical House members a day after gaining Speaker John Boehner‘s critical endorsement and finding significant support in the Senate. With President Barack Obama in Europe, his top national security aides were […]

Hagel tries to tone down Obama effect on military sexual assault

Hagel tries to tone down Obama effect on military sexual assault

In a highly unusual move to blunt the legal impact of the president’s comments on military sexual assaults, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering his top leaders to be sure to only base their judicial decisions on facts and their own independent judgment. The one-page memo tells the military that even though senior U.S. leaders […]

Pentagon revising same sex benefits

Pentagon revising same sex benefits

The Pentagon is poised to extend health care, housing and other benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members by the end of August, but may reverse earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married. According to a draft Defense Department memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the department instead […]

Pentagon cuts unpaid leave

Pentagon cuts unpaid leave

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Tuesday he was slashing the amount of unpaid leave that 650,000 civilian employees were ordered take this year to six days from 11 in an effort to limit the pain from across-the-board budget cuts. The decision means most civilian defense employees, who saw their pay effectively cut by 20 […]

Some 650,000 Petagon workers face a day without pay

A day without pay, the first of 11 through September, comes next week for more than 650,000 people who hold civilian jobs with the Defense Department. Officials worry that the Pentagon will be hit even harder by layoffs in 2014 if automatic budget cuts continue as planned. Roughly 85 percent of the department’s nearly 900,000 […]

Pentagon plans to put more and more women in combat

Pentagon plans to put more and more women in combat

  Military leaders are ready to begin tearing down the remaining walls that have prevented women from holding thousands of combat and special operations jobs near the front lines. Under details of the plans obtained by The Associated Press, women could start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later. […]