"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. 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. 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. He will be missed. I wish Mike and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives."