"In the military, we use a phrase that's called 'stay in your lane' and every individual has an area of responsibility."
As the Adjunct General, Daniel Krumrei's lane is wide. He oversees 13,000 military men and women and is the governor's advisor on Illinois' military affairs.
"The biggest change is having a particular area of responsibility to having responsibility over an entire organization."
This month, Governor Quinn pinned the Legion of Merit Award on Krumrei. It's the military's sixth highest award; adding to a slew of medals he's collected over a lifelong career.
"Any opportunity for a soldier to have an award pinned on them by the Commander in Chief, that's a real privilege for any soldier."
For 30 years, he served in the ministry, and with a lot of close calls on the front lines, he has a lot to teach.
"You need to understand that each day is a gift and a value. That each moment is an opportunity to experience all of what we need to experience as human beings."
But, he doesn't call himself a hero.
"I think I am privileged to serve heroes. We have many men who leave their families, they leave their jobs, they leave their homes and they do it because they want to protect the citizens of this state and they want to defend this nation, so I think, what we in leadership are privileged to do is to serve those who are heroes."
General Krumrei got the award for exceptional duty performance, powerful leadership, inventive problem-solving and demonstrating extraordinary talents.