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Donley Says He’ll Step Down as Air Force Secretary

Compliments of:  American Forces Press Service

Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley announced his plans to step down June 21 as the Air Force’s top civilian after serving in the position for nearly five years, officials said today.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley announced April 26 that he’ll step down as Air Force Secretary on June 21. U.S. Air Force photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

“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.”

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel praised Donley’s achievements in a statement released today.

“Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley has today announced his intention to step down and return to private life after many years of dedicated public service to the nation,” Hagel’s statement read. “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.

“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 continued. “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,” Hagel added. “He will be missed. I wish Mike and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives.”

Donley was confirmed as the 22nd secretary of the Air Force on Oct. 2, 2008, during a very difficult time for the Air Force. 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.

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 [Air Force Chief of Staff] General [Mark A.] Welsh [III], Chief [Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A.] 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.

(Editor’s Note: Some information in this article was provided by Headquarters U.S. Air Force)

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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