“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve with our Air Force’s great Airmen,” Donley said. “Their accomplishments have been nothing short of impressive and I’m humbled to be a part of this team. The Air Force has been a way of life for so much of my career, I know it will be bittersweet to say farewell.”
Donley was confirmed as the 22nd secretary of the Air Force Oct. 2, 2008. He served as the acting secretary since June of that year, as well as for seven months in 1993, making him the longest serving secretary in the history of the Air Force. He also served as the service’s top financial officer from 1989 to 1993.
“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,” said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. “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.”
Though Donley has not yet announced any future plans, he remains dedicated during his remaining time to supporting the Secretary of Defense in the many challenges that lie ahead for the service.
“In the meantime, there remains much to do,” Donley said. “This is an extraordinary and exciting time for our Air Force, filled with both challenges and opportunities. I remain confident that the strength and professionalism of our Airmen, and the commitment and determination of General Welsh, Chief Cody and our military and civilian leadership team, will continue to see us through.”
Donley’s 35 years of experience in the national security community also includes service in the Senate, White House and the Pentagon. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the Director of Administration and Management in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.