President Barack Obama announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel from the East Room of the White House Monday morning.
Obama thanked Hagel, the first former enlisted man and the first Vietnam veteran to serve as Defense secretary, whom Obama called an “exemplary defense secretary.”
“When I nominated you for this position, you said that you’d always give me your honest advice and informed counsel; you have,” Obama said, directing his comments at Hagel. “When it’s mattered most, behind closed doors in the Oval Office, you’ve always given it to me straight, and for that I will always be grateful.”
The event, which included Obama, Hagel and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., lasted nearly 15 minutes. Obama said Hagel would stay on the job until a new defense secretary was confirmed by the Senate.