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SECDEF Hagel & Cellular Industry

Wireless Week today had the surprising news, to your blogger at least, that the new Secretary of Defense has background in the cellular industry:

The Senate has confirmed military and wireless industry veteran Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense.

Hagel was a co-founder of Vanguard Cellular systems. At one time, Vanguard was the largest independent wireless carrier and was eventually bought by AT&T Wireless in 1999.

A little Googling revealed:

  • “He left the Army in 1968 with the rank of sergeant. Hagel later co-founded Vanguard Cellular in 1984. The money he earned from the cellular carrier allowed him to enter politics on the national stage.” Military.com

  • “After the war, he worked his way through the University of Nebraska in Omaha, then got a job in the office of Rep. John McCollister, R-Neb. He rose to administrative assistant; after McCollister lost a Senate race in 1976, Hagel became a lobbyist for Firestone. He later got the Number 2 position in the Reagan Veterans’ Affairs Administration, but resigned after only one year. Hagel then founded Vanguard Cellular Systems, which became the second largest cell phone company in the nation.” National Journal
So perhaps he will understand the sharing/reallocation issues in the PCAST report and elsewhere better than his predecessors.
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