Lt. Gen. David P. Fridovich, U. S. Special Operations Command deputy commander retired Nov. 14, after more than 37 years of service in a ceremony at the Davis Conference Center, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
Presiding over the ceremony were retired Adm. Eric T. Olson, former USSOCOM commander and the current commander, Adm. Bill H. McRaven.
“If you measure a man’s professional contributions by those who show up to recognize his achievements then Dave you have had a great career because we have an impressive audience today,” said McRaven. “His legacy as a Green Beret is unmatched - he is a leader in the army culture that values great warriors and equally great thinkers.”
Fridovich graduated from Knox College in 1974 and was commissioned an Infantry Second Lieutenant. After serving as a Rifle and Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Light Infantry Company Commander with the 172nd Light Infantry Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska, he was assigned as an Assistant Professor of Military Science, Norwich University, where he trained the Mountain Cold Weather Cadre and Rescue Team.
‘“Frido’ is an Army officer, but his soul is in the multi-service, joint special operations community,” said Olson. “He is strategic thinker who understands the importance of nuance and context, a strong leader, sets high standards and convinces people they can achieve them.”
In 1984, he completed the Special Forces Detachment Officer’s Qualification course and reported to the reactivated 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served in the 3rd Battalion, commanding both an SF Operational Detachment Alpha and Bravo before becoming the Battalion Operations Officer.
Subsequently, he served as the Senior SF Observer Controller, and later Chief, Special Operations Division, at the Joint Readiness Training Center. In 1995, he took command of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) and the Special Operations Task Force-Haiti, where his command was involved with Operation Uphold Democracy, in support of the United Nations Mission in Haiti.
“He is man of action, whose operational excellence in many of the most remote, complex places on earth earned him ungrudging respect of his teams, his bosses and his international colleagues,” Olson said. “He is an officer of ability and humanity – he gained the trust and cooperation and even the affection of the people of every place he went.”
Later, Fridovich commanded the Combined/Joint Special Operations Task Force in Operation Joint Forge, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, from January through July 2000. He assumed command of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in August 2000. There, he led the Army Special Operations Task Force, Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines, Zamboanga, Republic of the Philippines from January through June 2002. In January of 2005, Fridovich assumed duties as Commander, Special Operations Command - Pacific. He subsequently assumed duties as the Director, Center for Special Operations, U.S. Special Operations Command in 2007 and became the deputy commander in May 2010.
Fridovich closed his retirement ceremony by stating how important loyalty and trust is to an organization.
“When you invest in people and underwrite their mistakes and you earn everyday their loyalty as best as you possibly can with your sincerity and your genuine nature when you do that you can’t but help make the organization better,” said Fridovich. “We are absolutely at our best when we understand and get the vision of the mission and are not interested in who gets the credit.”