Donley Says He’ll Step Down as Air Force Secretary
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013 Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley announced his plans to step down June 21 as the Air Force's top civilian after serving in the position for nearly five years, officials said today.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley announced April 26 that he’ll step down as Air Force Secretary on June 21. U.S. Air Force photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve with our Air Force's great airmen," Donley said in an Air Force release issued today. "Their accomplishments have been nothing short of impressive, and I'm humbled to be a part of this team. The Air Force has been a way of life for so much of my career, I know it will be bittersweet to say farewell."
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel praised Donley’s achievements in a statement released today.
"Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley has today announced his intention to step down and return to private life after many years of dedicated public service to the nation,” Hagel’s statement read. “Mike has been an invaluable adviser during my first two months as Secretary of Defense and has been an outstanding leader of the Air Force for nearly five years.
"His leadership came during a challenging time for the Air Force, and he helped instill a culture of responsibility, initiative, and professionalism to the service,” Hagel continued. “Mike has been an unwavering champion for our airmen, their families, and for American airpower.
"The Air Force he leaves behind is more resilient and more respected because of his leadership and personal dedication,” Hagel added. “He will be missed. I wish Mike and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives."
Donley was confirmed as the 22nd secretary of the Air Force on Oct. 2, 2008, during a very difficult time for the Air Force. He served as the acting secretary since June of that year as well as for seven months in 1993, making him the longest serving secretary in the history of the Air Force. He also served as the service's top financial officer from 1989 to 1993.
Though Donley has not yet announced any future plans, he remains dedicated during his remaining time to supporting the Secretary of Defense in the many challenges that lie ahead for the service.
"In the meantime, there remains much to do," Donley said. "This is an extraordinary and exciting time for our Air Force, filled with both challenges and opportunities. I remain confident that the strength and professionalism of our airmen, and the commitment and determination of [Air Force Chief of Staff] General [Mark A.] Welsh [III], Chief [Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A.] Cody and our military and civilian leadership team will continue to see us through."
Donley's 35 years of experience in the national security community also includes service in the Senate, White House and the Pentagon. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the director of administration and management in the office of the secretary of defense.
(Editor’s Note: Some information in this article was provided by Headquarters U.S. Air Force)