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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel highlights changing military during California farewell tour

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ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 01:  U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a press briefing October 1, 2014 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The briefing was to discuss the release of the Military Health System review.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
ARLINGTON, VA - OCTOBER 01: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a press briefing October 1, 2014 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The briefing was to discuss the release of the Military Health System review. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

This week, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is in California as part of a three-day farewell tour. Tuesday, he visited the Marine Corp Air Station in Miramar.

This week, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is in California as part of a three-day farewell tour. Tuesday, he visited the Marine Corp Air Station in Miramar.

Hagel put in his resignation in December after two years in the post. His departure comes at a critical time for the military.

"There's a cultural component to Secretary Hagel's legacy," said Andrew Tilghman, Pentagon bureau chief for The Military Times. That includes policies allowing women to serve in combat roles, overseeing the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military.

Hagel has said he will stay in the position until Congress confirms his successor. That could come as early as February.

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