At farewell, Obama praises Hagel as 'true American patriot'

At farewell, Obama praises Hagel as 'true American patriot'


1 photo

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

FORT MYER, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday that outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is a true American patriot who devoted his life to the United States.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and top military brass praised Hagel at a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall. Obama said the country is grateful for military progress on Hagel's watch.

Obama said Hagel strengthened key U.S. partnerships in the Middle East, paving the way for Arab nations to join the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

He said Hagel launched reforms that have better positioned the military for the future.

Hagel resigned abruptly in November under pressure from Obama. His tenure included the U.S. transition out of a combat role in Afghanistan.

Hagel said he's grateful for Obama's steady leadership in the world. He said the world is still a hopeful place despite its many problems.

Obama's nominee to replace Hagel is Ashton Carter. He's awaiting Senate confirmation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

Jim Kuhnhenn

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast