Hagel sworn in as defense secretary - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Hagel sworn in as defense secretary

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Courtesy: Dave Weaver/AP Courtesy: Dave Weaver/AP

WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- Newly minted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is vowing to continue to build strong relations around world and engage with allies.

Hagel is telling Pentagon staff that he is committed to ensuring that the troops and department civilians are treated fairly and equally.

He is taking the lead at the Defense Department as massive, automatic budget cuts loom, and as complex negotiations with Afghanistan leaders intensify over winding down the war.

Hagel was sworn in during a private ceremony near his new office Wednesday morning, after a Senate confirmation process. He said he then visited the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial for some time of reflection.

Hagel plans to spend his first day in the Pentagon meeting with his staff and senior defense leaders.

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