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President, DoD Leaders Praise Departing Air Force Chief

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 1997 – Accolades from the president and senior Pentagon leaders hail the service and achievements of Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, who asked July 28 to step down early as Air Force chief of staff.

"It has been a great privilege for me to work closely with General Fogleman over the last three years. I want to take this opportunity to commend this extraordinary officer for his dedicated service to our nation," President Bill Clinton said, after Defense Secretary William Cohen accepted Fogleman's retirement request.

"As chief of staff, his clear vision and tireless championship of air and space power have shaped the United States Air Force for the challenges of the 21st century. These are his legacies," Clinton said. "General Fogleman's leadership and wise counsel will truly be missed in the senior decision-making ranks of our national security structure."

"General Fogleman was a strong supporter of programs to maintain the readiness of our armed forces and to take care of our people," said Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "His vast operational experience, keen insights, and 'big picture' perspective made General Fogleman an important part of the Joint Chiefs team."

Air Force Secretary Sheila E. Widnall, who forwarded Fogleman's request to Cohen, lauded the general for distinctive service, capping 34 years of "extraordinary service to this nation as a military officer, leader and combat warrior. His life has been dedicated to the core values of integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do," she said.

Fogleman asked Cohen for a Sept. 1 retirement date. Calling the general "a forceful champion of global engagement," Cohen accepted. The general said in his statement he'd looked at being the chief of staff as a "tour -- not a sentence." He said he'd accomplished many goals he set when he took office.

"We wanted to take care of the troops and their families, to stabilize the force, to set a course for modernization and to develop a new strategic vision," he said. "During some difficult and challenging times we have done all that and more."

Fogleman graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1963. He is a command pilot and parachutist, and flew 315 combat missions during Vietnam. He has received two awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. He and his wife, Miss Jane, have two sons.

(Jim Garamone of the American Forces Press Service and Air Force Staff Sgt. Lee Roberts of the Joint Staff contributed to this story.)

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