Donley Stepping Down in June

Acknowledging it will be “bittersweet to say farewell,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley announced he’ll be stepping down as the service’s leader on June 21. That will be five years to the day that he began his tenure, first as Acting Secretary and then, beginning on Oct. 17, 2008, as Secretary. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve with our Air Force’s great airmen,” said Donley in an April 26 release. “Their accomplishments have been nothing short of impressive.” Donley is the longest serving Secretary in Air Force history, when including his four months as Acting Secretary in 2008 and his seven months as Acting Secretary in 1993, according to the release. In a statement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Donley “an outstanding leader” and “an unwavering champion for our airmen, their families, and for American airpower.” Hagel added, “The Air Force he leaves behind is more resilient and more respected because of his leadership and personal dedication.” Donley has not yet announced his post-Air Force plans. “In the meantime, there remains much to do,” said Donley. (See also HASC Chairman McKeon’s release.)