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Knox Grad Promoted, Appointed Director of Anti-terrorism Unit

Career Green Beret officer David P. Fridovich earned international relations degree at Knox

David P. Fridovich, a Knox College graduate and career Green Beret officer with the United States Army, was recently promoted to lieutenant general from major general. In a ceremony July 8 at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, Fridovich also was appointed director of the Center for Special Operations, the unit within the U.S. military's Special Operations Command that directs anti-terrorism campaigns.

In his remarks at the promotion ceremony, Fridovich emphasized the influence of his liberal arts background at Knox. "It's something that I won't forget in this new job," he said.

Presiding over the promotion ceremony was General Bryan D. Brown, the outgoing commander of the Special Operations Command, a joint force command that encompasses the Army Green Berets, Rangers and Delta Force Operatives; Navy SEALs and Air Force Rescue Teams.

One of only forty lieutenant generals in the U.S. Army, Fridovich earned a bachelor's degree at Knox in 1974 and a master's degree in 1976 at Tulane University. He also has studied at the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and at the British Forces Royal College of Defense Studies in London, England.

Since 1976 Fridovich has filled a variety of operational and command assignments, with the majority of his career in the Pacific Rim Region. He has served in South Korea, Haiti, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and for the past several years directed a widely praised Special Forces counter-terrorism operation in the Philippines.

Writing in Joint Force Quarterly, a military periodical, Fridovich stated that United States forces "must blend host nation capacity building and other long-term efforts to address root causes, dissuade future terrorists, and reduce recruiting."

The indirect approach to counter-terrorism "demands diplomacy and respect for political sensitivities," wrote Fridovich, who majored in international relations at Knox.

According to the Wall Street Journal, while in the Philippines, Fridovich "made all [American] soldiers read the [Philippine] constitution. That drilled home the fact that they would be working within a sovereign nation with its own rules and laws."

Fridovich has met with classes and given a number of public lectures at Knox, including a talk in 2005 on the future of the U.S. military, in February when he received a 2007 Knox College Alumni Achievement Award, and most recently in June, when he was a featured speaker at Knox's 2007 Football Reunion. Fridovich was a three-year starting linebacker and co-captain for the Knox football team. He also is a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and has participated in volunteer activities for Knox's admission office.

"I have used the outcomes of the 'Knox Experience' almost every day of my U.S. Army life," Fridovich said in an interview earlier this year. "The value of a classic liberal arts education works exceedingly well, when you have to deal with a multitude of complex issues, emerging ideas, and the broadest base of individuals the world has to offer."

In the interview, Fridovich said that his Knox football teammates and coaches Harley Knosher and Al Reilly "kept me wanting to come back for yet another season," while long-time Knox faculty member Robert Seibert, Murphy Professor of Political Science, "saw something in me I didn't know existed, a student/scholar."

"I'm convinced this wouldn't have happened any place else," Fridovich said.

Pinning Fridovich's three stars were his mother, Naomi Fridovich of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and his wife, Katherine, a 1976 Knox graduate. Also attending the ceremony were Seibert, a 1963 Knox graduate, and his wife Marna; and Knox President Roger Taylor and his wife Anne, both 1963 Knox graduates.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 44 nations. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Promotion Group Photo
From left, Roger and Anne Taylor, David and Katherine Fridovich, Robert and Marna Seibert, at Lt. Gen. Fridovich's promotion ceremony. Below, Gen. Bryan Brown (right) administers the oath at the ceremony.
Promotion Ceremony

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Printed on Friday, December 3, 2021