(WASHINGTON) — Air Force Secretary Mike Donely is retiring to private life in June after five years on the job.
Donley was appointed to the role in 2008, during a time Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel refers to as “challenging.”
“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 said Friday in a statement.
Hagel was apparently referring to the 2008 dismissal of Robert Gates, Donley’s predecessor, for the mishandling of nuclear weapons.
Hagel goes on to credit Donley as being an “invaluable advisor” during Hagel’s first two months as Secretary of Defense, and calls him an outstanding leader of the Air Force who leaves the service stronger than when he began as secretary.
“The Air Force he leaves behind is more resilient and more respected because of his leadership and personal dedication. He will be missed,” Hagel said.
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John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN