WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama declared that his defense secretary nominee, Chuck Hagel, would be the first former member of the military's enlisted ranks to lead the Pentagon he seemed to overlook four others.
One is William J. Perry, who served in the Army's enlisted ranks from 1946-47 before being discharged. He later was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Stanford and served in the Army Reserve from 1950-55 as a second lieutenant.
According to a Pentagon historical office, three other Pentagon chiefs served in the enlisted ranks and later became commissioned officers.
Thus, the White House says, Obama was correct because Hagel is the only one among the four whose military service was only in the enlisted ranks.