Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on her vote today to confirm Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel:
"Senator Hagel brings an impressive record of service and is a highly qualified choice to lead the Pentagon. Our country needs Senator Hagel's strong leadership immediately, as the Department of Defense faces the possibility of significant budget reductions that will affect military readiness at a time when there are many threats to our national security around the world.
"I also want to thank outgoing Secretary of Defense Panetta for his exceptional service. His accomplishments include carefully managing the drawdown of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opening combat roles to women and implementing the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military."