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Terry Prince - Director - Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Terry Prince, a 31-year Navy veteran, was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker in April 2021. He leads a team of 1,200 professionals who provide beneficial services for more than 580,000 veterans and their families across Illinois. These services include residential and skilled nursing care in five Veterans’ Homes, Veterans Service Officers across the state, dedicated guidance in seeking federal education benefits, and special programs and events for veterans and their families.

Over the past three years, Director Prince and his team developed and executed a Six-Point Plan for the Future of IDVA initiating swift enhancements of operations, policies, and staffing. Building on this plan, the agency is executing a four-year strategic plan focused on IDVA’s people, operational excellence, and the veteran experience. These three pillars are supported by specific actions to achieve the highest level of service to Illinois veterans. The team’s mission is for veterans to thrive in Illinois.

Before joining IDVA, Director Prince served as the Superintendent of the Ohio Veterans Homes where he led 850 employees providing skilled nursing and domiciliary care for veterans at three separate facilities, including the 5th largest Veterans home in the country. After this assignment, he was awarded the department’s inaugural Major General Manning Force Award which recognized his distinguished service in a position of significant responsibility.

Director Prince began his military career in 1986 and served at 14 duty stations globally. His career centered around health care beginning as a dental technician and advancing to the Command Master Chief at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, NC, and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He was handpicked as the 1st Senior Enlisted Advisor at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, VA, and concluded his 31-year career in 2017 as the 13th Director of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps and Force Master Chief of Navy Medicine.

Force Master Chief Prince’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and the U.S. Army Order of Military Medical Merit. He is also triple warfare qualified as a Surface, Aviation, and Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist.

Director Prince earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University and is a graduate of the National Defense University Keystone Leadership Fellowship, Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, and the Navy Command Master Chief course. He is a proud Eagle Scout and finisher of the Ironman Hawaii Triathlon World Championship.

There is a strong history of military service in Director Prince’s family, with his grandfather, three uncles, and two brothers having worn the cloth of our nation. He and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Prince, a 12-year Navy veteran, reside in Will County, IL