Secretary Hagel released the following statement on Representative Buck McKeon's retirement:
"I want to commend Representative Howard "Buck" McKeon for his many years of dedicated public service to the people of California, to our country, and to America's men and women in uniform.
"As Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck has fought hard to provide our troops serving around the world, and their families, the resources and support they need to accomplish their mission. He has been a strong advocate for ensuring that our military has the capabilities to meet the complex and challenging threats it will face in the future. Since I took this position as secretary of defense a year ago, I have particularly appreciated his tireless work and leadership in providing DoD with greater budget stability and predictability.
"Buck is a true patriot, and thanks to his leadership on defense issues and his passion for our troops, he has made our military stronger, and our country more secure. I've appreciated all of his personal courtesies to me and helpful advice. I consider him a friend whom I will greatly miss. I look forward to continuing to work with him for the remainder of this term and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors."