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Robert F. Hale

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Robert F. Hale

Robert F. Hale
Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
Assumed office
February 10, 2009
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Tina W. Jonas
Succeeded by Michael J. McCord
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller)
In office
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Michael B. Donley
Succeeded by Michael Montelongo
Personal details
Born (1947-01-21) January 21, 1947
Sacramento, California

Robert F. Hale (born 1947) was the United States Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) from 2009 until 2014 and before that the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller). Hale has over thirty years of experience as a professional financial manager serving in a wide range of national defense related roles. In addition to his most recent position as Under Secretary of Defense and his previous appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Hale has also served in the National Security Division of the Congressional Budget Office and as Executive Director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. Hale is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a former member of the Defense Business Board..

Early life

Hale was born on January 21, 1947.[1] He was raised in [1][2][3][4]

Hale spent three years on active duty as an officer in the United States Navy, serving first with a Navy security group in Okinawa, Japan and then in Washington, D.C. After completing his Navy tour in 1972, he took a civilian position at the Center for Naval Analyses, serving as an analyst and later a study director.[2][5] In 1975, Hale joined Logistics Management Institute or LMI, a not-for-profit consulting firm specializing in service to the Federal government. He was selected as a fellow of the institute, and eventually, headed LMI’s acquisition and grants management group.[1][3][6]

Public service

After leaving LMI, Hale took a key position at the Congressional Budget Office, non-partisan agency that supports the United States Congress. During his tenure at the Congressional Budget Office, Hale was responsible for analyzing major defense budget issues. He also frequently testified before Congressional committees regarding the results of budget studies conducted by the Congressional Budget Office. He headed the Congressional Budget Office’s National Security Division for twelve year before President Bill Clinton nominated Hale to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller).[1][3][4]

Hale served in the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller) from 1994 to 2001. As chief financial officer for the United States Air Force, Hale was responsible for annual budgets of approximately $70 billion. During his tenure, Hale initiated important process changes that streamlined the Air Force’s financial management system to bring it into compliance with the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990.[1][3][4][5]

When he left the Air Force, the American Society of Military Comptrollers selected Hale to be the society's full-time Executive Director. The society offers career development opportunities and financial management training to its 18,000 members. During his tenure as Executive Director, Hale was a strong advocate for the society's professional certification program, a challenging four part examination leading to recognition as a Certified Defense Financial Manager. Hale planned and conducted the society’s National Professional Development Institute, an annual conference that offers training to over 3,500 participants. He was also responsible for publishing the society’s well respected professional journal, Armed Forces Comptroller.[1][3][4][7]

Defense comptroller

Robert Hale along with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen testify to the House Armed Services Committee on the FY 2011 defense budget

President Barack Obama nominated Hale to be Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) on January 9, 2009. During his confirmation hearing on January 15, 2009, Hale reminded the Senate Armed Services Committee that he had over thirty years of experience in defense related financial management. The United States Senate confirmed his appointment on February 9, 2009. As chief financial officer for the Department of Defense, Hale is the principal advisor to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on all fiscal matters including the development and execution of the department’s annual budget, which at time of his appointment, was over $600 billion (including war supplemental spending). Hale is also responsible for financial policy, accounting and financial reporting, financial management systems, and business modernization efforts within the defense department.[3][4][8]

During the United States Government shutdown in 2003, Hale was criticized for withholding survivor benefits to the families of at least 29 soldiers killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Hale said the Department of Defense did not have the legal authority to dispense public funds until Congress passed the defense appropriation bill.[9] This was resolved when Congress passed and President Obama signed a bill authorizing emergency payments to the families of deceased soldiers during the government shutdown.[10]

Other accomplishments

Hale is a Certified Defense Financial Manager and a past national president of the American Society of Military Comptrollers (1997–1998). He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a former member of the Defense Business Board, a high-level Pentagon advisory panel. Hale was a member of the Task Force on the Future of Military Healthcare, which issued a report in June 2008 on how to create a cost-effective healthcare system for military members and their families.[1][3][5][11]

Hale was selected as a Booz Allen Fellow in November 2014. In that position, he serves as an advisor to the Booz Allen Hamilton corporate leadership.[12]


Hale has received several prestigious awards for his public service.[1] They include:

  • Department of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award
  • Air Force Distinguished Service Award
  • National Defense Medal


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 111th Congress", hearing testimony, Senate Armed Services Committee, United States Congress, January 15, 2009, pp. 113-115.
  2. ^ a b "The Honorable Robert F. Hale Welcome Aboard!", Interview, Air Force Comptroller (Vol. 28, No. 3), Department of the Air Force, Washington, D.C., July 1, 1994, pp.4-6.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Robert F. Hale, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer", Official Biography, Officer of the Secretary of Defense, United States Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., April 25, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e "President-elect Obama announces key Department of Defense posts", Press Release, Office of the President-Elect,, Washington, D.C., January 8, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "Obama Chooses Hale for Pentagon Position", The Hill, Capitol Hill Publishing Corporation, Washington, D.C., January 7, 2009.
  6. ^ "About LMI", LMI Government Consulting, McLean, Virginia, April 26, 2009.
  7. ^ " ASMC History', American Society of Military Comptrollers,, Alexandria, Virginia, April 26, 2009.
  8. ^ Hale, Robert F., "Answers to Advance Questions for Robert F. Hale, Nominee for Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)", testimony before the Armed Services Committee, United States Senate, Washington, D.C., January 15, 2009.
  9. ^ “Soldiers’ Death Benefits Stalled as a Result of Government Shutdown”, The Daily Caller,, October 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Dann, Carrie, “Obama Signs 'Death Gratuity' Bill into Law”, NBC Politics, NBC News,, October 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "Today’s Guest Speaker", ASMC Washington Chapter Newsletter, American Society of Military Comptrollers, Washington, D.C., June 12, 2006.
  12. ^ Former DoD Comptroller Bob Hale Selected as Booz Allen Fellow, Market Watch, Dow Jones and Company, New York, New York, 3 November 2014.

External links

  • U.S. Department of Defense
Government offices
Preceded by
Michael B. Donley
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management & Comptroller)
1994 – 2001
Succeeded by
Michael Montelongo
Preceded by
Tina W. Jonas
Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
February 9, 2009 – June 2014
Succeeded by
Michael J. McCord
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