Editor, Knox Magazine
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
November 18, 2011
Lt. Gen. David P. Fridovich, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOC) deputy commander, retired on November 14, 2011, after more than 37 years of service in the U.S. Army. He retired as the senior Green Beret in the Army. The ceremony was held at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, and was presided over by retired Adm. Eric T. Olson, former USSOC commander, and Adm. Bill H. McRaven, current USSOC commander.
"He is a man of action, whose operational excellence in many of the most remote, complex places on Earth earned him the ungrudging respect of his teams, his bosses, and his international colleagues," said Adm. Olson at the ceremony.
Several members of the Knox community were in attendance for the retirement ceremony, including Fridovich's wife, Katharine Kodl Fridovich '76, President Emeritus Roger Taylor '63 and his wife, Anne Taylor '63, Robert W. Murphy Professor of Political Science Robert Seibert '63 and his wife, Marna, Chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees Jan Koran '71 and her husband, Steven Handler, and Michael Tracy '72, the General's Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity pledge father.
Lt. Gen. Fridovich earned his bachelor's degree at Knox in international relations in 1974. He has a master's degree from Tulane University and 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. He served as deputy commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command since May 2010.
Over his 37-year career, Lt. Gen. Fridovich has served as commander at every level in the Army -- platoon, company, battalion, Special Forces Group, Special Operations Task Force, and Theater Special Operations Command. He has commanded counterterrorism forces throughout the world, including assignments in Korea, Haiti, Hawaii, Bosnia, The Philippines, and the United States. He commanded Special Forces units in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2000, and was instrumental in leading counterterrorist forces in The Philippines. In addition to his command positions, Lt. Gen. Fridovich has served in a variety of operational staff positions, including assistant professor of military sciences at Norwich University. He joined the Knox College Board of Trustees in May 2010, and is the recipient of a 2007 Knox College Alumni Achievement Award.
Lt. Gen. Fridovich credits his Knox experience with his career success.
"Somehow the value of a classic liberal arts education works -- and 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," said Fridovich of his Knox education.
In 2011, Lt. Gen Fridovich began to openly discuss narcotics dependency in the military, a problem he thinks is too often swept under the rug. He joined the Army's surgeon general in campaigning for service-wide implementation of holistic implementation of pain relief, and his story received national attention.