DD Comptroller Robert Hale plans to step down as soon as a succesor is in place. (Gannett Government Media Corp)
After five years on the job, Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale is stepping down, with his chief deputy, Michael McCord, in line to replace him.
President Obama announced late last week that he plans to nominate McCord, a former Senate Armed Services Committee staffer, to succeed Hale. McCord has served as principal deputy undersecretary for defense (comptroller) since 2009.
In a statement, Hale said he intended to stay in his current job until McCord wins Senate confirmation. “If confirmed, Mike will bring continuity to this position, and I know he will do a great job,” Hale said.
Hale has also been in his current post since 2009. As the Pentagon’s top financial manager, he has overseen DoD’s efforts to get its books in auditable condition by a congressionally imposed 2017 deadline. He was also a key figure in the Pentagon’s handling of last year’s sequester-related budget cuts.
In the statement, Hale said he would depart with mixed feelings. With the help of a “large number of men and women” in the comptroller’s organization, he said, “we have guided this department through some very turbulent times while also making progress on key initiatives.” But after five years as comptroller — the longest tenure of any predecessor since the 1950s — “I know it is getting close to the time when I should pursue other opportunities and challenges,” Hale added.
When Obama nominated him for that post in 2009, Hale was executive director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. From 1994 to 2001, Hale served as Air Force comptroller; before that, he headed the Congressional Budget Office’s national security division for 12 years, according to his official biography. He also spent three years on active-duty Navy service.