Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has chosen former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead an advisory committee for 50th anniversary events commemorating the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee will provide advice, vision and oversight for events in communities across the nation.
The committee also will advise organizers of an educational program to preserve the legacy of Vietnam veterans.
President Barack Obama announced the commemoration effort at a ceremony at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington.
Hagel is a twice-wounded Army combat veteran of the war who represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2009.
U.S. military advisers were first attached to South Vietnamese units in 1962.