Senator Chuck Hagel to Lead Vietnam War Anniversary Advisory Committee

October 5, 2012 06:16 PM


The Secretary of Defense has named The Honorable Chuck Hagel to serve as the Chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee.  The beginning of the commemoration effort for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War was announced by President Barack Obama during a ceremony hosted by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC on Memorial Day 2012.  Senator Hagel was one of the speakers at that event, which included the Vice President of the United States, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and thousands of Vietnam veterans and their families.

Senator Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War combat veteran, served in the United States Army in Vietnam with his brother, Tom, in 1968. They served side by side as infantry squad leaders with the U.S. Army's 9th Infantry Division.

Senator Hagel earned many military decorations and honors, including two Purple Hearts.  After his military service, Senator Hagel led a successful business career and continued to serve our veterans and their loved ones as President and Chief Executive Officer of the World USO, as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, and two terms as the United States Senator from Nebraska.  He and another Vietnam Veteran, Senator Jim Webb, co-authored the new GI Bill, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2008 by President George W. Bush.

As chairman of the Vietnam War Commemorations Advisory Committee, Senator Hagel's committee will provide advice, vision, and oversight to the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, as events are planned in hometowns all across the nation.  The Committee will also advise on the development of an education program to preserve the legacy of our Vietnam War veterans. 

The Congress directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan and assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans for their service, valor and sacrifice.  The Congressional language and objectives follow below.

In Accordance With Public Law 110-181 SEC.598; the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and  coordinate with other programs and activities of the Federal Government, State and local governments, and other persons and organizations in commemoration of the Vietnam War."

The commemorative program will include activities and ceremonies to achieve the following objectives:  

To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW), or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of Federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the Armed Forces.

To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.

To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War.

To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.

For more information on the Vietnam War Commemoration, please visit <> . 

To read President Obama's proclamation, visit