Chuck Hagel in Vietnam
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A political fight has been ignited after President Obama announced the nomination of former soldier and Senator Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense. The choice is seen as controversial due to past comments from Hagel about Israel, gays in the military, and shadowy connections to a group known as the "E-4 Mafia."
"Chuck has served our nation in battle, and knows the burden our troops face," President Obama told reporters. "I can think of no one better for this post." Freshman congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also echoed the President's sentiment: "He knows what it's like to be in the shit [sic] taking orders. I think he'll make a fine SecDef."
Despite the honor of nomination, even Hagel didn't express excitement. "I remember hanging up the phone cursing, and told my wife, 'I've been out for almost 40 years, and they're pulling me back in for another goddamned detail.'"
Although reluctant, Hagel feels he's up to the task.
"You are damn right I can run the Pentagon," said Hagel between victory shots of Tequila. "I don't trust a man who hasn't banged underage hookers in the DMZ." He also added, “I'm the right candidate because I took correspondence courses to max out promotion points on my E-4 eval.”
Hagel also remarked that, as a former enlisted man, he understood aspects of military life that elude most career officers, including how the Army's supply lines, physical training, distribution of labor, and maps work. He is not without skeletons however, including his rumors of association while an Army Specialist with the E-4 Mafia, a suspected but unconfirmed league of conspirators, gamblers, and smugglers.
“The guy was a Specialist in Vietnam while I was a Lieutenant Commander. You think I am going to put a former grunt in charge of the Pentagon?,” asked Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). "Some lower enlisted puke running the Pentagon? What kind of shit-show are we talking about here?"
Hagel, who left the Army as a Sergeant, revealed some of the changes he'd like to see at DoD.
"I'd like to see some good mentoring and helpful advice for the men who make the real decisions in the service branches," said Hagel. "So I think I'd start with putting senior officer advisors in place to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, the Sergeants Major of the Army & Marines, and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy."
Other plans according to Hagel, include "no more haircuts because it's all bullshit anyway", lowering the drinking age to 18 on base, and implementing "Kegger Thursdays" at all military barracks.