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June 30th, 2014
09:28 PM ET

Chuck Hagel reunites with his Vietnam platoon commander

It has been nearly five decades since Chuck Hagel has been in touch with his platoon commander from the Vietnam War.

It wasn't until he became secretary of defense that he was finally able to track down Lieutenant Jerome Johnson.

CNN's Barbara Starr reports on the man who changed the face of war for Hagel, who happens to be the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the defense department.


Filed under: Military • News
soundoff (One Response)
  1. George

    It is incorrect to name 1LT Johnson as a "platoon commander." Leaders of platoons in the US Army are correctly denominated as "platoon leaders." Platoon leaders have no command authority, as this is reserved for the next higher officer in the unit, the company commander, who is usually a captain. The company commander has authority under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A lieutenant, serving as a platoon leader, has no such authority, thus cannot be called a "commander."

    July 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Reply

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