"It's not the biggest, by any means, and it's not the most expensive, by any means. But it's the finest military in the world. And if we start fooling around with then we're going to experience some problems," Local 5 Military Expert retired Colonel Tim Lawrie said.
But Hagel's past statements on Israel and actions in Congress have leaders in the local Jewish community concerned.
"The fact that he didn't support unilateral sanctions against Iran and anytime someone mentions the pro-Israel lobby or the Jewish lobby, Jews become concerned," said Rabbi Sid Vineberg, of Anshe Poale Zedek Synagogue.
Both Vineberg and Colonel Lawrie say candidates for both positions need the same key qualification.
"I think it would be better if we had someone who has extensive experience in the MIddle East. Because that's where all the problems are," said Colonel Lawrie.
"Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is the only western society in the MIddle East that shares our values," said Rabbi Vineberg.
Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.