WASHINGTON, D.C. (09/12/2014)(readMedia)-- Senior Illinois National Guard leaders were awarded the Gold Polish Army Award and celebrated Polish Armed Forces Day at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9.

Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei of Springfield, Illinois, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard along with Maj. Gen. William Cobetto of Hillsboro, Illinois, the Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General-Air, and retired Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti of Springfield, Illinois, received the Gold Polish Army Award for their support of Polish-American military cooperation.

"I accept this award on behalf of the 13,000 Soldier and Airmen of the Illinois National Guard who have been cooperating with the Polish Armed Forces for over 21 years and who have deployed with the Polish Armed Forces on every rotation to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003," said Krumrei.

The Polish Army Medal was established in September 1999 to recognize service to the Polish Army by foreign civilians and military personnel. The medal is presented in three grades Gold, Silver and Bronze by the Polish Minister of National Defence.

This year the Illinois National Guard conducted more than 30 separate engagements with the Polish military, strengthening collective defenses. In June, Soldiers participated in a biological response exercise in Poland. In October, 75 Soldiers and Airmen will participate in an exercise in Poland known as Anaconda Saber. Also in October, C130s from the 182nd Airlift Wing will deploy to Poland where they will fly side by side with the Polish C130s in support of NATO operations in Poland.