Longest-serving Air Force secretary to step down this summer

After nearly five years as secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley said he will step down June 21.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve with our Air Force's great airmen," Donley said in an Air Force release issued today. "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, according to the press release. 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, in the Air Force statement. "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."

Donley has not yet announced any future plans. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the director of administration and management in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

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