April 23, 2008
I recently informed the Department of Defense of my intention to retire from the United States Air Force. That will take effect on the first of July, nearly 39 years after I entered on active duty. The military has in that time given me and my family tremendous opportunities, in this country and overseas. Together, we have grown, both in our stock of experiences and in our appreciation for those with whom we have served.
My personal decision to conclude an immensely rewarding Air Force career is a product of practical considerations related to military retirement. After I leave the military, I will continue as CIA Director, aware as always that my service at the Agency is at the pleasure of the President.
Since coming to CIA in May 2006, I have been privileged to be part of two exceptional organizations. The Agency and the Air Force have a great deal in common, far more than just the birthday they share. They are both dedicated to the protection of our country, its values and ideals. The Americans who give life to each of those essential communities blend knowledge with curiosity, skill with courage, and strength with decency. For those reasons, and thanks to you, I have always felt at home here at CIA. I have never sensed that my uniform was an issue at the nation’s premier center of civilian intelligence.
I look forward to working with you, the men and women of CIA, beyond the close of my time in the United States Air Force. Your commitment to mission and your accomplishments in so many challenging fields are a true inspiration.