February 17, 2015

Hagel's parting ethics advice to brass: Do better

Senior military officers, such as the Navy admirals censured for their role in a bribery scandal, risk discrediting the military when it needs public support more than ever, according to a memo signed by outgoing Defense secretary Chuck Hagel and obtained by USA TODAY.

The Navy's ongoing "Fat Leonard" scandal involving bribes and prostitutes in exchange for secret information is one example of unethical behavior among senior military leaders that led to Hagel's high-level review of their behavior and the memo he signed Feb. 12.

The memo signed in one of Hagel's last acts on the job warns military brass and senior civilians at the Pentagon that "when senior leaders forfeit this trust through unprofessional, unethical or morally questionable behavior, their actions have an enormously negative effect on the profession."

Read the full article at USA Today.


  • Jerry Hendrix

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Defense Program

    Jerry Hendrix was the Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. A retired Captain in the United States Navy, his staff ...