U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed his desire to retire to President Barack Obama shortly after the November election.
Per a DoD press release issued this afternoon:
Soon after the election, I informed President Obama of my intention to retire from public service and return home to California. Today, the president announced that he will nominate Chuck Hagel to succeed me as secretary of defense, and I want to express my strong support for this nomination.
During a briefing a the White House early this afternoon in which his retirement and Hagel’s nomination were announced, Panetta joked about moving home to his walnut farm in California.
As for me, after close to 50 years of serving the American people — began in 1964, when I served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army, and then in both the legislative and executive branch positions in Washington — the time has come for me to return to my wife, Sylvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren, and my walnut farm … dealing with a different set of nuts.