Chief of staff retires after 37 years

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In a ceremony filled with military tradition, the 18th chief of staff of the Air Force, General T. Michael Moseley, retired July 11 after 37 years of service.

"We honor here today the career of a warfighter, diplomat, historian and Airman," said former Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne, who officiated at the ceremony on the U.S. Air Force Ceremonial Lawn here. "We lose a participant, a creator and a valuable member of today's Air Force."

Mr. Wynne spoke of General Moseley's leadership over the years and presented him with personal letters of appreciation from President Bush, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.

General Moseley said he was excited about going to work at the Pentagon every day walking down the hall since his September 2005 appointment, "seeing the portraits of the previous chiefs of staff who set the bar so high."

"It was a real treat and honor to work with Mr. Wynne and fight the good fight for what was best for the U.S. Air Force," he said.

General Moseley also spoke of dealing with issues such as base realignment and closure, re-capitalization and force shaping, and doing everything possible to provide the right resources to Airmen in the war on terrorism.

"Every day, at every opportunity, I always felt we were working with the best interests of the republic, doing what was right for America," said the general.

He thanked his wife, Jennie, for her love and support over the years.

"You have been the rock of our family," he said.

He also expressed his love and appreciation for his children and grandchildren.

"I couldn't be more proud of you," he said. "You have brought so much joy into our lives."

After he spoke, the U.S. Air Force Band marched onto the lawn and performed the Texas A&M University fight song along with four cadet band members from the school, where General Moseley earned bachelor's and master's degrees in political science.

General Moseley and Mr. Wynne tendered their resignations to Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates June 5. Mr. Wynne's final day as the Air Force's top civilian official was June 20.

Upon retirement, the general has more than 2,800 flight hours, much of them in four models of F-15 Eagle aircraft.

General Moseley commanded the Air Force Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nev., the 33rd Operations Group at Eglin AFB, Fla., and the 57th Wing, also at Nellis. The general served as the combat director of operations for Joint Task Force-Southwest Asia.

He also commanded 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces while serving as combined forces air component commander for operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The general is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His staff assignments were a mix of operational, joint and personnel duties.

He was awarded the Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the Order of National Merit (officer) and the Order of National Merit (commander) by the president of the French Republic, which is the second-highest French military award. He was also awarded the United Arab Emirates' Military Medal, 1st Class, by the country's president and the Mérito Santos-Dumont from the Brazilian Air Force.

A flyover consisting of cargo, bomber and fighter aircraft followed by the singing of the Air Force Song concluded the ceremony.