SPRINGFIELD, IL (06/04/2013)(readMedia)-- Governor Pat Quinn appointed Brig. Gen. Richard J. Hayes of Buffalo Grove as the Assistant Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard on June 3.

As assistant adjutant general, Hayes will serve as the principal assistant to The Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Krumrei in all mat¬ters pertaining to supervision and management of the Illinois Department of Military Affairs and the Illinois National Guard, which consists of 13,000 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen.

"Brig. Gen. Richard Hayes is a leader both in the Illinois National Guard and in the private sector," Governor Quinn said. "His experience and commitment to his state and nation will be invaluable as he embarks on this mission to help lead the Illinois National Guard and its 13,000 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen."

Hayes has been an Army officer for 26 years. He led the Illinois National Guard's assistance to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, deployed to Kosovo to assist with peacekeeping operations, and leads all of the Illinois National Guard's domestic operations. He has also been a successful business leader. He currently serves as a senior executive with a large engineering and construction concern based in Lisle, Ill.

"General Hayes' acumen as a businessman will be a great benefit to the Illinois National Guard as we continue to get stronger despite limited finances," said Brig. Gen. Krumrei. "He is a leader who listens to his subordinates and makes wise decisions based on all the available information. That's a vital skill both in the military and in the private sector."

Hayes was commissioned in 1987 from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Kansas and joined the Illinois National Guard in 1989. Since 1989 he has served in various positions within the field artillery, infantry, and joint force headquarters. On Saturday, Hayes was awarded his second Legion of Merit for his service as Commander of the Illinois National Guard's 129th Regional Training Institute. The Legion of Merit is the U.S. military's sixth highest award.

"I take pride in leaving every organization that I've led better than it was when I arrived," Hayes said. "It is really the people in those organizations that make the positive changes. At the end of the day, leading is really about influencing, building consensus and empowering people."

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