2012 Rank: 42
Secretary of Defense
Hagel’s 10 months on the job have been a blur dominated by automatic budget cuts, a continuing war in Afghanistan and planning for a future that most analysts say will likely be even leaner than the military services expect. By all accounts, the no-nonsense Republican former senator and former Army sergeant plunged into the job, diving into debates about reshaping the US military for the next decade. Hagel continues to counsel his service chiefs that it’s time to stop trying to stave off cuts and start thinking about the right balance of personnel, readiness and equipment. To set the example, he’s announced plans to cut his own headquarters staff by 20 percent. A former Senate Foreign Relations Committee member and Atlantic Council chairman, Hagel is known and respected worldwide. Among his undone tasks: persuading lawmakers and military leaders to reform military end strength, pay and compensation. He must also convince Congress
to allow the shedding of excess bases and facilities.
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