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Document: Hagel’s Message to DoD Following Resignation Announcement

Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Chuck Hagel is saluted by side boys as he visits the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) on June 5, 2014. US Navy Photo

Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Chuck Hagel is saluted by side boys as he visits the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) on June 5, 2014. US Navy Photo

The following is Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s Nov. 24, 2014 message to Department of Defense employees following the announcement of his resignation on Monday.

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

To the men and women of the Department of Defense:

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that this morning, President Obama accepted my letter of resignation. I have agreed to continue to serve as Secretary of Defense until my successor is confirmed by the United States Senate.

You should know I did not make this decision lightly. But after much discussion, the President and I agreed that now was the right time for new leadership here at the Pentagon.

I want you to know that I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together. We have prepared ourselves, our Allies and the Afghan National Security Forces for a successful transition in Afghanistan. We have taken the fight to ISIL and, with our Iraqi and coalition partners, have blunted the momentum of this barbaric enemy. We have come to the aid of millions of people around the world who have suffered the ravages of natural disaster and of disease. We have worked tirelessly to sustain our all-volunteer force that has given so much during 13 years of war. And we have bolstered enduring alliances and strengthened emerging partnerships, all the while setting in motion important reforms that will prepare this institution for the challenges facing us in the decades to come.

Most importantly, we have helped keep this country and our fellow citizens safe. We have sustained the blessings of liberty our ancestors secured and upheld the oath we took.

That work will continue. It must continue. The world is still too dangerous, the threats too numerous, for us to lose focus. And even as I promised the President my full support going forward, so, too, do I promise that I will work hard to support you right up until my last day in office. I owe you that.

There will be time later to say farewell. For now, please know how much I respect and admire your service and that of your families. As I gather with my own family this Thanksgiving holiday — a luxury I realize not all of you will enjoy — it will be the privilege of having worked with you these last two years for which I will be most grateful.

Thank you for all you do for this country. God bless you. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Bill Garber

    great farwell comments!

  • Adrian

    Chuck was just a “fall guy” for the Obama Administration. Sad the way he had to go.

  • NofDen

    Mr. Hagel was a better secretary of Defense, the replacement will an obama wanna be communist. Terrible days in the history of this great country.
    You better do well Republicans or the country will be doomed to perpetual failure with democrats.

  • Larry

    SECDEF HAGEL is just being a good politician. Why not just come out and tell it like it is!? Give names, dates, everything, and follow up with a detailed book. Put the bright lights on those on the POTUS staff and others who are manipulating our countries defense and troops.

  • publius_maximus_III

    I think Mr. Hagel was asked to fall on his sword because he crossed the Chief on the Ebola thing. Obama says not-to-worry, no travel restrictions from West Africa or mandatory quarantines necessary for doctors and nurses returning home. Chuck says his troops must undergo a 21-day quarantine after stepping foot in those countries. Resignation tendered a few weeks later, end of story.