Yahoo News asked military service members, veterans and military families to react to the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the defense secretary post and what changes they'd like to see at the department. Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | Boy, has the criteria changed over the last decade or so for secretary of defense!
I don't know that much about Sen. Chuck Hagel. I have heard rumors of Hagel not being gay-friendly enough to hold the post of secretary of defense. I know he was in the military in Vietnam; it's a good thing to have served before if you want to be in charge of the defense of the most powerful nation on Earth.
But with so much petty politics and hidden agendas fueling the D.C. rumor mill, I don't take much credit in what I hear or read. Being an old Army infantry sergeant who served in the early '80s with the prestigious Big Red One First Infantry Division, and with the Eighth Infantry Pathfinders in Germany, I don't want to hear what other senators and paid lobbyists have to say about Hagel's merit. Rather, I want to hear what other old military dogs have to say about Hagel.
That aside, if Hagel is confirmed, here's what I'd like to see him spearhead in the Department of Defense: The military should develop extensive drone and robot deployment, production and research. Being an old infantry "beetle head," I know the last thing a soldier wants to hear is your superior picking out names to storm the machine guns over the hill so the rest of the survivors know what they're up against. Sending in a robot or a drone to dodge those bullets instead (and finding out what and who are on the other side first) sounds much more prudent to me. And to the moms, dads, husbands, wives and children back home.
- Military & Defense