Senate Approves SecDef Nomination

The Senate voted (58-41) this week to confirm former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (Neb.) to replace Leon Panetta as the next Secretary of Defense (SecDef). The first former enlisted service member and Vietnam veteran to serve as SecDef, Hagel must immediately grapple with major budget challenges associated with sequestration and DoD funding for the second half of FY 2013. He will also be overseeing the military withdrawal from Afghanistan and implementing the new Defense strategy in the Pacific.