Gates bids farewell to Pentagon

Thursday - 6/30/2011, 10:30am EDT

By Julia Ziegler
Web Manager
Federal News Radio

Today is Defense Secretary Robert Gates' last day on the job.

Gates sent a farewell memo to all military personnel. In it, he acknowledged the sacrifice of military members and their families and honored their service. He said his admiration and affection for service members is without limit and he will think about them and their families for the rest of his life.

President Barack Obama will speak at a farewell tribute to Gates at the Pentagon this morning. The Defense Department has also posted a retrospective of Gates on its website.

Gates called his tenure as defense secretary the greatest honor of his life. He oversaw two wars for two different administrations over the last four and a half years.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta takes over as Gates' replacement tomorrow. Federal News Radio recently spoke with former Assistant Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb about Panetta's priorities.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.