Hagel close to appointing new ethics adviser

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is close to making a decision on a new senior officer who will advise and assist him with ethics issues within the ranks, the Pentagon press secretary said Friday. 

“He now has before him several nominations for officers to consider. He is reviewing those packages, as well as other potential options,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby during a Pentagon briefing. 

Kirby added it would be an important post and the first of its kind at the Pentagon. The new position will report directly to Hagel, and will help coordinate actions with the Joint Staff. 

“The secretary believes it's important … to have somebody on his personal staff to help integrate and … help coordinate the efforts across the department to include the combatant commands, not just the services,” Kirby said. 

Hagel created the position after the Air Force and the Navy recently announced separate investigations on proficiency test cheating among its nuclear forces.

So far, 92 Air Force missileers have been suspended for involvement in cheating on proficiency tests, and about 30 Navy nuclear reactor operators have been suspended for involvement in cheating on job qualification tests.