DoD Secretary Chuck Hagel has recognized the Marine Corps and several other DoD organizations for their progress toward meeting DOD’s audit readiness goals.

Secretary Hagel and DoD Comptroller Bob Hale recognized the efforts of these organizations at a ceremony in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon yesterday. “I know that this might seem a bit unusual to be in the Hall of Heroes to honor a bookkeeping accomplishment, but this is an accomplishment,” Hagel said.

Hagel underscored the importance DoD places in achieving its audit readiness goals. “We want to be in a position to comply with the promises that we’ve made to the Congress and the American people that we would be audit-ready and audit-compliant, and we’re moving toward that, and every step we make, every accomplishment we achieve does that,” he said. DoD has set a goal to be fully audit ready in 2017.

The Marine Corps, the first service to clear an audit, drew special praise from Hagel. “We want to particularly acknowledge the Marine Corps for what they have accomplished. It is not too distant from their reputation of fitness and discipline and excellence,” Hagel said.

The Secretary acknowledged nine other DoD components for their audit readiness progress: The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS); The Defense Contract and Audit Agency (DCAA); The Defense Health Agency—Contract Resources Management; The Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund; The Military Retirement Fund; The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—Civil Works; The DoD Inspector General (DoDIG); The Defense Commissary Agency; and The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

Hagel praised Bob Hale for his years of leadership in moving the DoD towards audit readiness. “You have been a significant force in this effort as anyone,” Hagel told Hale. “And this department, this country owes you a great deal, Bob, so we are most appreciative of what you’ve done, and a model that you have set.” Hale has announced that he is stepping down later this year and will be replaced, if the Senate confirms his impending nomination, by his deputy Mike McCord.