"The secretary plans to subject his pay to furlough levels even though he is not required to because he is a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed official in this department," Politico quoted Pentagon press secretary George Little as telling reporters Tuesday.
"We expect the vast majority of civilians, at least at this point, to be subject to furlough," Little said.
Hagel, who earns about $200,000 a year, would have to write a check to the federal government to reflect the pay he would lose over 14 furlough days, Politico said.
Some department employees -- uniformed personnel, those deployed to Afghanistan, foreign national workers in other countries who are protected by status of forces agreements, and civilian workers deemed vital to national security -- will be exempt from the furloughs.
An estimated 750,000 workers are waiting for news of the furloughs.
"We are working through all the analytics on the number of civilian employees who we expect, regrettably, to have to furlough in the coming weeks, including me," Little told reporters. "I don't know that we've arrived at a specific number yet."
"We are obliged to give adequate notice to our civilian employees as to whether they are going to be furloughed or not. This is not something that you get a notice one day and a furlough the next. So we understand that we need to take great care with our civilian workforce.
"We will commit to communicating on a regular basis with our civilian employees on their particular situation and our policies overall," he said.