By Michael Hoffman
It’s not like $41,200 is gonna break the Pentagon. But when U.S. military leaders are spending $41,200 for an oil painting at the same time the Pentagon is pausing tuition assistance programs, closing the commissaries for a day and canceling little league games on base, it’s going to stick in some craws.
The walls of the Pentagon are lined with these oil paintings of past military leaders. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley has served as the service’s top civilian leader since 2008 and is set to step down.
Donley is certainly not the only federal leader to have his portrait done. Washington Times wrote the story back in November and it got a response, but it has recently gained momentum within military social media circles since the sequestration deadline hit. Troops have posted it on Twitter and Facebook using the cost of the oil paintings as an example of Pentagon bloat at a time when other programs are being cut.
It’s standard for the Air Force secretary to sit for an oil painting to join the others on the Air Force’s wing of the Pentagon. It just so happens that Donley is sitting for his painting while all other Defense Department civilians are getting ready to take a 22-day furlough.