President Barack Obama's second term will likely see him make some changes to his Cabinet, and that includes a change in the Secretary of Defense. Leon Panetta is expected to step down, and although it's still early in the process, some analysts believe former senator Chuck Hagel is the top pick to fill the role, reports The Associated Press.

Hagel, who served as a Nebraska senator from 1997 to 2009, would be a logical choice. Hagel has extensive military service, having spent time in Vietnam, where he earned a Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal. Advocates say his time in the military gives him a unique perspective on how to best serve the troops.

"He's a combat vet who was wounded twice and understands that the decisions we make here are carried out by our young men and women," Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Armed Services Committee, told the AP.

Hagel also understands the geopolitical climate, having served on the Foreign Relations Committee when he was in the Senate. Additionally, he has a close relationship with Obama from their time in Congress together.