WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Cheating on proficiency tests at a U.S. Air Force missile base and a Navy's nuclear propulsion school raised concern that systemic issues may be threatening the health of the force, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said on Wednesday.
Kirby told a press conference that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is concerned about the health of the force and the health of the strong culture of accountability and responsibility that Americans have come to expect from their military.
Surveys have shown that the military is among the most respected professions in the United States, and these ethical lapses work against that perception.
In his weekly meeting with the service secretaries and service chiefs, the secretary told them that ethical behavior will be on the agenda for these meetings from now on, Kirby said.
The secretary believes military and Defense Department leaders must take a step back and put renewed emphasis on developing moral character and courage in the force, he added.
According to Kirby, a group co-chaired by officials from the Joint Staff and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is set to deliver a report to Hagel within 60 days.
"He has made it clear he would certainly welcome the work sooner than that," Kirby said.
In addition, Hagel has asked retired Air Force Gen. Larry Welch and retired Navy Adm. John Harvey to lead an independent review of the military's nuclear enterprise.
"They will offer their views on the quality and effectiveness of the action plan, and they will also provide their insights and recommendations on addressing any systemic personnel problems," the admiral said.