Chuck Hagel was the 24th U.S. secretary of defense and a two-term Republican U.S. senator from Nebraska.
Hagel began his government career as a staffer for Congressman John Y. McCollister (R-NE) from 1971 to 1977. From 1970 to 1980 he worked as a lobbyist for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and he then served as deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration, resigning from this post in 1982.
In 1984, Hagel co-founded mobile phone service carrier Vanguard Cellular and in 1992, he became president of investment banking firm McCarthy Group, LLC. He then served as CEO of American Information Systems Inc., later known as Election Systems & Software, a computerized voting machine manufacturer partly owned by McCarthy Group, LLC.
Hagel was elected U.S. senator from Nebraska in the 1996 and 2002 elections and served from 1997 to 2009. While in the Senate, Hagel served on the Committee on Foreign Relations; the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Selection Committee on Intelligence; and the Committee on Rules and Administration.
During his hiatus from public service from 2009 to 2013, Hagel wrote the book America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers (with Peter Kaminsky). He also served as chairman of the Atlantic Council and Distinguished Professor in National Governance at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Following President Barack Obama's nomination, Hagel then served as the U.S. secretary of defense from February, 2013 to February, 2015.
In addition, Hagel served as U.S. Army infantry squad leader during the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1968 and was awarded two Purple Hearts.
Last Updated: September 1, 2017