Stephen Ross is no Jason Bourne, but he is not exactly an ordinary citizen.
"I know what they're going through. I've eaten what they've eaten. I've slept where they've slept."
Eating and sleeping as a person in the service is exactly what he's done, only not in uniform.
Ross joined the civilian expeditionary service in 2006.
"It takes your active duty military jobs that would be done in a combat environment and it puts a civilian in that environment and lets them hold that role."
Ross' roll was a financial advisor to the Afghan Government. He also helped in the startup of the Afghan Public Protection Force Advisory Group.
Even though he was outside of his comfort zone, Ross still managed to go above and beyond the call of duty, returning with four service awards including one from the Afghan government.
"General Jimbush who is the individual that signed this we had a very good working relationship. He was the deputy administrative for the APPF and he came out and presented this to me himself and i brought it back and had it re-presented to me by General George. I'm pretty proud of that because he didn't give that to a lot of people."
And his wife, Mandy Ross, is proud of him as well.
"I was so excited i didn't realize he would get awards. I didnt realize how big the awards were so i was very excited for him," she said.
So what is next for the honored civilian?
"Well that depends on if you talk to my wife," he said. "I would love to go back over there and would like to spend more time overseas especially in the advising role."