Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visits Camp Lejeune

17 Jul 2013 | Lance Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River to discuss fiscal issues as well as meet with troops, July 17.

“The last ten or twelve years, the defense budget has been unchallenged, and those days are over,”  said Hagel. “We have to be more agile and flexible.”

Hagel’s first stop was at Marine Corps Special Operations Command, aboard MCB Camp Lejeune, to talk to Marines about the impact of sequestration.

“Special Operations are going to continue to be a critical component of our national security,”  said Hagel. “I see a tremendous future. We can learn a lot from what special operations does. It’s going to be a main piece of our national defense strategy.”

Upon leaving MARSOC, Hagel traveled by an MV-22 Osprey to Camp Geiger. He met with School of Infantry East leaders and toured Military Operations on Urban Terrain Town while Marines conducted house clearing maneuvers.

Hagel then met with more than a dozen female Marines, most of whom have completed combat tours, for a closed door discussion regarding the roles female Marines play in combat zones and abroad.

“I felt very privileged to speak with Secretary Hagel because the discussion was very enlightening,”  said 1st Lt. Micki Duran, a female communications officer with 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion. “I’m glad he is taking the matter seriously and taking the time out of his schedule to meet with Marines directly affected.”