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Terry Prince - Director - Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Terry Prince was appointed Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs by Governor JB Pritzker on April 1st, 2021 and confirmed by the Senate Executive Appointment Committee on March 28, 2022.

As Director, he leads a team of 1,200 professionals, in partnership with numerous local and state organizations, to provide beneficial services for more than 600,000 veterans and their families across the State of Illinois.

Upon joining IDVA, Director Prince developed a Six-Point Plan for the Future of IDVA, which he and his team have diligently worked to execute change and maximize opportunities. Over the course of the year, IDVA’s leadership team has been reimagined. It has recruited and hired staff for key roles across IDVA. Communication and culture have been enhanced. Infection control systems have been elevated and many policies, procedures, and technology have been updated and implemented. The five Illinois Veterans’ Homes across the state continue to provide excellent care delivered by trained medical professionals and staff. The Veteran Service Officers interface with veterans and their families to help them identify and obtain earned benefits and services. 

Prior to this appointment, Director Prince served as the Superintendent of the Ohio Veterans Homes. In this capacity, he led 850 employees providing skilled nursing and domiciliary care for 801 veterans at three separate facilities, including the 5th largest Veterans home in the country. At the conclusion of this assignment, he was awarded the department’s inaugural Major General Manning Force Award, an honor that recognized his distinguished service in a position of significant responsibility.

Director Prince began his military career in 1986 and went on to serve at 14 different duty stations around the world. His most recent tours include: Command Master Chief at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, NC and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.  Later, he was handpicked to be the 1st Senior Enlisted Advisor at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, VA. He closed out his illustrious 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 all having worn the cloth of our nation. He and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Prince, a 12-year Navy veteran, reside in Chicago.