(CNN) - The first Vietnam veteran to be U.S. defense secretary is spending his first overseas trip on the job thanking soldiers and Marines.
At about 11 a.m. ET Friday, Hagel touched down in Kabul, Afghanistan.
(CNN) – New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addressed service members and civilian employees Wednesday, vowing to always be "honest" and "direct" with his staff–and asking the same in return.
"You are not joining my team. I am joining your team," he said. "And I want you to know how proud I am of the opportunity the president of the United States has given me and the Congress of the United States has given me."
(CNN) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary after a bruising political fight. The former Nebraska senator, a Republican, will succeed Leon Panetta at the Pentagon.
Washington (CNN) – Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's rocky and inauspicious path to the Pentagon could haunt him if he doesn't watch his step.
"If people feel Hagel makes a mistake in the future, they will come after him even harder than if this ugly process of recent weeks hadn't happened," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a co-author of "Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy."
(CNN) – The U.S. Senate, in a crucial test vote on Tuesday, chose to move the embattled nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary forward, clearing the way for final consideration and likely confirmation later in the day.
(CNN) - The Senate will move forward in confirming President Barack Obama's nominee to become defense secretary this week, a leading Republican who opposes Chuck Hagel's elevation to the role said Sunday.
"I don't believe Chuck Hagel, who is a friend of mine, is qualified to be secretary of defense. But I do believe that elections have consequences, unfortunately, and the president of the United States was re-elected," Sen. John McCain said on "State of the Union."
(CNN) – Days before the Senate votes on ending the filibuster against Chuck Hagel's nomination for defense secretary, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham sent a letter to the former senator, demanding access to Hagel's Senate archives and requesting answers to more questions about his record.
"Given the threats we face in the world and the public confidence level needed to be an effective Secretary of Defense, I believe the airing of your views and record is critical to the confirmation process," Graham stated in the letter.
Washington (CNN) - Official documents, correspondence and other papers from the period of time Chuck Hagel held his U.S. Senate seat are closed to public viewing by the archives entrusted to hold them.
The lack of access has created yet another controversy around the embattled nominee to become the next defense secretary, raising questions among some about whether he might be hiding something in those files.
(CNN) - Fifteen of Chuck Hagel’s harshest Republican critics in the Senate are calling on President Obama to withdraw his nomination, arguing “it would be unprecedented for a Secretary of Defense to take office without the broad base of bipartisan support and confidence needed to serve effectively in this critical position.”
In a letter Thursday to the president, the senators didn’t raise any new substantive concerns about Hagel but reiterated long-held complaints about his stances on key issues. In particular, they said his “ambivalence about whether containment or prevention is the best approach” to dealing with a possibly nuclear-armed Iran means “the military option will have near zero credibility” if he were in charge of the Pentagon.
(CNN) - In a letter sent to one of his sharpest critics Saturday, Chuck Hagel stated he could not remember and disavowed a report from 2007 where the Defense Department nominee was characterized as describing the State Department as an "adjunct" to the Israeli government.
That was how a blog post written in 2007 wrote about Hagel's speech on U.S. policy towards Iran. Hagel wrote to his critic Sen. Lindsey Graham, saying "I do not recall making any such statement, or ever making any similar statement. I completely disavow the content of the alleged statement attributed to me." Read that letter provided to CNN by a source here.