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Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, joined by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, center, poses questions to Ashton Carter, President Barack Obama's choice to be defense secretary, as he goes before the committee for confirmation to replace Chuck Hagel as Pentagon chief, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

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Ashton Carter, President Barack Obama's choice to be defense secretary, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to replace Chuck Hagel as Pentagon chief. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

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(L-R) US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, US Attorney General Eric Holder, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and US Secreary of the Treasury Jack Lew wait before US President Barack Obama's State Of The Union address on January 20, 2015 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/POOL/MANDEL NGAN

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(L-R) US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, US Secreary of the Treasury Jack Lew and US Secretary of State John Kerry share a laugh before US President Barack Obama's State Of The Union address on January 20, 2015 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/POOL/MANDEL NGAN

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US President Barack Obama shakes hands with US Secreatry of Defense Chuck Hagel (C) as Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew (R) watches after Obama delivered the State of The Union address on January 20, 2015, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/POOL/MANDEL NGAN

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US President Barack Obama shakes hands with US Secreatry of Defense Chuck Hagel after Obama delivered the State of The Union address on January 20, 2015, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/POOL/MANDEL NGAN

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US President Barack Obama shakes hands with US Secreatry of Defense Chuck Hagel (C) as Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew (R) watches after Obama delivered the State of The Union address on January 20, 2015, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/POOL/MANDEL NGAN

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks at the Pentagon in this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, where he announced that he is ordering top-to-bottom changes in how the nation's nuclear arsenal is managed, vowing to invest billions of dollars more to fix what ails a force beset by leadership lapses, security flaws and sagging morale. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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The White House offered praise of Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter Monday, but would not confirm rumors that he is the front-runner to replace his boss, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The Senate confirmed him for his previous Pentagon post by unanimous consent. (Associated Press)

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Air power: "Nothing reassures and protects friendly forces and scatters and destroys enemy forces like an A-10," a target spotters association tells Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. (Associated Press)

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After Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel abruptly resigned this week, Vice President Joseph R. Biden let it be known that he was "ticked off" about the way President Obama treated the third Pentagon chief to depart during his term — after less than two years. (Associated Press)

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No hard feelings: President Obama shakes hands with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after announcing Mr. Hagel's resignation Monday. Mr. Hagel is the third defense secretary to resign during Mr. Obama's six years in the White House. (associated press)

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Illustration on the removal of Chuck Hagel by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, listens as President Barack Obama, right, talks about Hagel's resignation in the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday. (Associated Press)

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President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, after announcing Hagel's resignation during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down under pressure from Obama's Cabinet, senior administration officials said Monday, following a tenure in which he has struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey (right) listens Thursday as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Armed Services committee hearing on the Islamic State. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon on Oct. 30, 2014. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare a medical support team to provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the U.S. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

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President Obama, seated next to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaks to the media about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)