Covered at Reason 24/7: Chuck Hagel Tells Soldiers to Expect Straight Talk on First Day as Secretary of Defense

Today was Chuck Hagel's first day as Secretary of Defense after a hard-fought confirmation battle. Speaking at the Pentagon Hagel emphasized how he intends to run the Defense Department and what he expects from soldiers. 

From The Washington Post:

Chuck Hagel appeared more at ease during his first day on the job at the Pentagon Wednesday than he did during his turbulent confirmation process, as repeatedly paid homage to a military that has been engulfed in war for nearly 12 years.

Hagel, who was sworn in earlier in the day, is the only Vietnam combat veteran to serve as defense secretary. In his remarks Wednesday, the former enlisted infantryman didn’t publicly dwell on his experience or the two Purple Hearts that he was awarded for wounds he suffered in combat. But his military service colored his pledges to the troops to “do everything I can to ensure the safety, the well-being, the future for you and your families.”

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  • LTC(ret) John||

    “do everything I can to ensure the safety, the well-being, the future for you and your families.”

    He is SecDef, not Dad. WTF?

    How about - "I will fix the f'ed up procurement process and weed out the thousands of deadwood GS employees and cut the number of flag officers?" or "I will make sure you can destroy our enemies, come home and rest, refit and retrain. Period."

  • John||

    Or

    "I will always give you straight talk as I fuck you and your families out of their benefits and retirement so I can save my cronies over at General Dynamics and Boeing."

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Odd, normally HitandRun is overjoyed at the prospect of government employees losing their retirement benefits. But a solider is asked to kick in a few more bucks a month toward Tricare and suddenly it's the worst thing ever.

  • John||

    Shockingly, sending people off to wars to get shot and then charging them for their medical care is considered a bit different than treating GS employees like employees.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Since 90% of that medical care has nothing to do with the being sent off to wars and getting shot, why should they be treated any differently than any other GS employee?

  • John||

    Because we expect soldiers to do physically demanding shit that we don't expect GS employees to do.

    And beyond that even if you love the idea of fucking soldiers, doing so to save money to give it to defense contractors is not exactly defensible. And trust me, they will screw every person in the rank and file to save a single defense contractor.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Only about 12% of the military is combat arms. For most of the military, the only difference between being a soldier, being a GS, and being a contractor is how stringent the dress code is when you're on the clock.

  • BlogimiDei||

    Stormy Dragon is a dumb Fuck.

    "when you're on the clock"

    In the military you are never off the clock.

    Stormy, do you see Aircraft Carriers "clocking out" and the end of the day?

    FUCK YOU

  • Paul.||

    Actually, I don't recall anyone being overjoyed at GS employees "losing their coverage", however, we have been overjoyed when someone suggests that maybe, they kick in a few bucks towards their retirement and medical care.

    I agree, that a few soldiers paying a few bucks towards their medical care isn't the end of the world as we know it.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Whenever there's a story about a pension (private or public) going under or in danger of going under, there will be dozens of comments here from people practically dancing over the fact people are losing their retirements. Which isn't to say the taxpayers should be on the hook to bail them out, but man, this board is extremly sadistic a lot of the time.

  • Virginian||

    Private pension? Where?

  • Paul.||

    Whenever there's a story about a pension (private or public) going under or in danger of going under, there will be dozens of comments here from people practically dancing over the fact people are losing their retirements.

    Speaking for myself, the only glee I feel is the told-you-so glee one feels when he looks at something years earlier and says, "Yeah, that won't last" when years later, we find out it didn't last.

    Honestly, I don't know of any public sector person who "lost his pension" due to public pension mismanagement. It was certainly (if I recall my late 80s history correctly) more likely to happen to private sector workers.

    But speaking of the glee, watching an unsustainable behemoth play out its part as an unsustainable behemoth doesn't make us 'sadistic'. Especially when there aren't any public sector workers that I know of walking away with a retirement of $0.

    The only time I take any glee over some public sector employee "losing" his pension, is when he's caught in some felonious activity and forefeits his pension when that happens. If that even happens, ever...

  • ||

    "Whenever there's a story about a pension (private or public) going under or in danger of going under, there will be dozens of comments here from people practically dancing over the fact people are losing their retirements. Which isn't to say the taxpayers should be on the hook to bail them out, but man, this board is extremly sadistic a lot of the time."

    "Only about 12% of the military is combat arms. For most of the military, the only difference between being a soldier, being a GS, and being a contractor is how stringent the dress code is when you're on the clock."

    I'm not sure how you let this dumb shit troll you guys, since he/she/shit obviously has no fucking clue how the military (or the contracts that service members sign for that matter) work.

  • Chris Mallory||

    The members of the military are government employees just lie any other.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Chris Mallory| 2.27.13 @ 3:23PM |#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    The members of the military are government employees just lie any other.

    what do you call it when a typo makes it more true?

  • R C Dean||

    That's an illustration of RC'z Law, is what that is.

  • Chris Mallory's Daughter||

    Daddy! Don't put your thing in me! It hurts! I don't like it! It makes blood come out! Daddy, I know you miss Mommy...but stop! DADDY PLEASE!

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    What is WRONG with you?!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Not so.

    Tricare (then CHAMPUS) went from being "free" to paid for, somewhat close to normal market rates - no mutinies, walk outs or drop in enlistments.

    I used it, briefly, but no longer, and won't take it or VA care or any other handout. I also expect my small retirement to be slowly cut down to zero - but I didn't join for insurance and a pension - so if it will actually help trim back Leviathan, so be it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's not "the worst thing ever"; it's just not terribly wonderful when it's just being redistributed to "the right people" (e.g., military contractors and various Obama interest groups).

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    "I will make sure you can destroy our enemies, come home and rest, refit and retrain. Period."

    I would love to see them shrink the military back to what we had at the beginning. We really only need a navy, air force, and the marines. The rest is unnecessary for our defence.

  • John||

    If you are 100% sure there will never be another land war, sure. And what purpose do the Marines serve? We will never again tolerate the casualties associated with an amphibious landing again and last I looked we really don't need them to shoot off the crows nest or to keep the sailors from buggering the cabin boys.

  • ||

    Like every fucking war up to and including WWII, we will build an army if necessary. This used to be the default behavior for the US: disband 90% of the Army after a war. There's no reason we can't go back to it and end the fucking welfare that the Army is.

  • John||

    Times change. Wars in 2013 are not what they were in 1913. They happen a bit faster now. The days of having a small army and then having a huge draft making an army of marginally trained civilians is over. You just can't do that. You have to have a standing, professional army or forget it.

  • ||

    A) You wouldn't need a draft in a noble war because people would willingly volunteer; and B) see my comment below regarding DRONEZ.

  • Chris Mallory||

    We can mind our own business and then we won't have to be fighting any more land wars.

  • Chris Mallory's Daughter||

    Daddy, I know your sad about Mommy dying over there, but I'm not old enough to do all the Mommy stuff. Won't Mommy be mad up in Heaven that I'm doing her job by touching your thing?

  • ||

    I'm OK with forgetting it.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    You just can't do that. You have to have a standing, professional army or forget it.

    Not really. As I stated, the Marines would be the land force. No other country is going to be able to land an army on US shores as long as the Navy and Air Force are kept adequate for the job.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    the Marines would be the land force.

    That's like saying Felines would be the dogs.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Point goes to H_M.

    That said we could probably get away with having a smaller army.

  • BakedPenguin||

    A MUCH smaller Army. A standing army of mostly special forces and logistics, with reservists and Guardsmen making up the bulk of the ground forces.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    I could be wrong, but the marines seem to be fighting a land war now. So I don't see how I am wrong.

    I know they do many things specific to the Dept. of Navy, but they are a land fighting force.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I know they do many things specific to the Dept. of Navy, but they are a land fighting force.

    That's only 1/2 their mission though. Yes, the Marines are an expeditionary force, but their also trained for amphibious warfare.

    The name for a force whose primary mission is land warfare is "Army".

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    That's only 1/2 their mission though. Yes, the Marines are an expeditionary force, but their also trained for amphibious warfare.

    Which would meet any requirement the US has for a "land" fighting force (by whatever name). What I am saying is you do not need an army of 500k+ when you have an integrated force already in place. If you would make you feel better, you could change the name (not really ever) of the Marines.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That assumes a marine and a solider are fungible. They really aren't. Marines train to do stuff the Army doesn't and vice versa.

    I think we agree that the Army should downsize, but I think the National Guard is where we should be looking at.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    That assumes a marine and a solider are fungible. They really aren't. Marines train to do stuff the Army doesn't and vice versa.

    I think we agree that the Army should downsize, but I think the National Guard is where we should be looking at.

    I am not saying they are fungible. I am saying the Marines can handle any 'land' warfare needed. Mostly in the expeditionary role whereby the US needs to put boots on the ground in a foreign country, and then get out.

    I am actually saying get rid of the Army, not downsize it, as it is not needed.

  • wareagle||

    No other country is going to be able to land an army on US shores as long as the Navy and Air Force are kept adequate for the job.
    ---------

    it's the being able to land our army on someone else's shores that is being threatened by your idea.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    it's the being able to land our army on someone else's shores that is being threatened by your idea.

    Sadly, we seem to forget the wisdom of those who came before us.

    America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
    John Quincy Adams
  • crashland||

    Unless there is a credible threat of invasion, which there isn't, who needs a big army?

    We should have skipped out on most of the conflicts of the last century.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Unless there is a credible threat of invasion, which there isn't, who needs a big army?

    Well, there is something to be said for the intimidation factor of having a large army.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Problem is that we don't do building up very well, lots of mistakes and extra cost - mostly in blood. Can the Army be smaller - yes. Should it be used like a hammer (pound object, put back in tool box) rather than a heavily armed USAID, sure.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    If you are 100% sure there will never be another land war, sure.

    I would use the Marines as the basis of a land army, if one is ever needed. With a strong Navy and Air Force, the chances of America having to fight a land war on American soil are slim.

  • ||

    Marines are needed so that they can be converted to Space Marines. The same thing goes for the Navy (Space Navy). And if we have Air Force we don't need army because we have DRONEZ.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    And you believe that dronez are used well...?

    /snark returned to default settings

  • Paul.||

    Oh shit, did he... did he say that his "door is always open"?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Open Door Policy is a mantra with everyone down to a Platoon Leader. It is something chanted, but not meant, nor understood. Kind of like Al Franken taking the oath of office.

  • Paul.||

    It is something chanted, but not meant, nor understood.

    Sing it, sister...

  • 21044||

    ^^^^^^^^^This^^^^^^^^^^^

    The biggest asshole XO I ever had claimed to have an "open door policy."

    I know what I would have said to my guys if any of them had jumped the chain and entered through his "open door."

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Did he get a Candy Bouquet from Hamas?

  • John||

    No, it was a box of chocolates bought jointly by Hamas and the Iranians. They wanted to go in and get something nice so they wouldn't be outdone by the Chinese.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fortunately, there is also good news coming out of Egypt:

    Nubians are organizing against the racist (Arab-supremist) Islamist groups.

    And this guy, speaking truth to power.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    And yet, if you send money in support, you would probably be branded a terrorist.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, the future doesn't belong to the Nubians, you see.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I swear to God, I am not lying, I really am that stupid."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So when will the Great and the Good organize demonstrations against this guy's hate speech?

    Answer: The moment Christians start blowing stuff up to protest "Christianophobia," and not a moment sooner. So, in other words, never.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Vomiting out the Israel Firster talking points isn't much of a plan, John.

  • Chris Mallory's Daughter||

    I'm sorry Daddy! I didn't know that boy was Jewish! He was just talking to me...Please stop hitting me Daddy!

    Daddy? Why are you pulling down my panties? Daddy...stop! I don't like that! Daddy, you're hurting me! DADDY! STOP! PLEASE! NO!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL

  • LTC(ret) John||

    No, it is JOOOOS JOOOOS JOOOOOSZ!!!!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Actually it's ZIO-JOOZ REPTILIAN ISRAEL LOBBY!!!!

    Wheels within wheels, John, wheels within wheels....

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Nice, the Unified (Conspiracy)Theory of Derp. Should it include chem-trails?

    Well done, HM.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "Covered at Reason 24/7: Chuck Hagel Tells Soldiers to Expect Straight Talk on First Day as Secretary of Defense"

    So yet another Dem President has implemented Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I see what you there did.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So, where's the straight talk?

    "Now that we're reducing our international commitments, limiting ourselves to defense of the homeland, and closing overseas bases, many of you are going on half-pay.

    "HA HA HA, just kidding, I meant to say we're going to invade Syria, whoopie!"

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Nah, I don't think he could find Syria on a map. Or in a Powerpoint presentation.

  • jb4479||

    But he doesn't have too, that's what "staff" is for, name the last SecDef who could find his ass with both hands in the dark. I served under 4 of them, and Cheney was the best of the lot (sorry to say, and I'm from Wyoming)

  • BarryD||

    The gay talk, well, that's next week.

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