Statement by IUPAT General President James Williams on the
Nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense
On behalf of the men and women of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, I commend President Barack Obama on his nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to serve as our next secretary of defense.
Chuck Hagel is a twice-wounded combat veteran who personally knows what’s at stake when our men and women are sent to battle. If confirmed as our next secretary of defense, he would also have the rare distinction of being one of the few veterans in this post who served their country as an enlisted soldier. His commitment and sense of duty for his country are irrefutable.
His military experience, coupled with his successful tenure on Capitol Hill as senator for the great state of Nebraska, provides Mr. Hagel with a singular perspective on international affairs. His outlook will serve this country and our president well.
As someone who walked point in Vietnam, and who now gets to lead so many great members, many of whom have put down their tools to go serve their country on foreign soil, I cannot think of another person with the same integrity and strength of character to lead our sons and daughters in uniform. He will do America, President Obama and the men and women in our military proud.
I strongly urge the Senate to confirm Senator Chuck Hagel so that he can move quickly to address the security concerns facing our nation.