Pace is retiring Sept. 30 after more than 40 years in the military and for the last six years as vice chairman and chairman of the Joint Chiefs, according to the American Forces Press Service.
“As my time as chairman comes to an end, I am filled with pride in the accomplishments of the incredible men and women of our armed forces, and humility in having had the opportunity to serve with each of you,” Pace wrote in a statement.
Pace called the current mission in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere critical and said that those in the military forces are courageous for taking on the challenge.
“From full combat operations to critical relief missions, your efforts around the world have brought stability to troubled regions, hope to those in need, and honor to America’s citizens,” Pace wrote. “During this challenging time in our nation’s history, you have contributed immeasurably by defending the homeland and fighting terrorists who threaten the values we hold so dear.”
The general wrote that the military has taken on risks that those fighting have not shied away from.
“Your actions have demonstrated a thorough understanding of risk, and the honor in being part of something bigger than yourself,” he said. “Your courage and selfless service will ensure your children -- and their children -- will enjoy the same freedoms that all Americans have enjoyed for generations.”
The general's last official day at the Pentagon was Thursday.