Major Friedman is a highly decorated Officer in the United States Air Force, currently serving as Commander of the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida. He originally received his commission in 2000 as a United States Marine Corps Officer and later transferred into the Air Forces elite as a Special Tactics Officer—aka Combat Controller— operating exclusively in the Special Operations community.
Major Friedman has served four combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terrorism. His personal decorations include three Bronze Stars (one with Valor), a Meritorious Service Medal, three Commendation Medals, three Achievement Medals and the Air Force Combat Action Medal. He is a sought after speaker with expertise in War and Leadership as well as Spiritual Development and Spiritual Formation. He is an emerging leader spearheading a movement to bring hope and healing to men, women and families dealing with the scars of war.
In April 2010, Major (then Captain) Friedman, under the direct leadership of four-star General Stanley McChrystal, deployed as the lead Joint Terminal Attack Controller to the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. This region was dubbed the “Valley of Death” as 44 US servicemen died there and hundreds were wounded. Captain Friedman was tasked with defending US forces during the closure of the Korengal Combat Outpost. While under direct and indirect hostile fire, he engaged multiple Taliban fighters with close air support which resulted in killing and wounding over 40 enemy and destroying several fighting positions– to include the famous Restrepo during final extraction.
The motto “First There,” reaffirms the Combat Controller’s commitment to undertaking the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines. The mission of a combat controller is to deploy, undetected, into combat and hostile environments to establish assault zones or airfields, while simultaneously conducting air traffic control, fire support, command and control, direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance and special reconnaissance in the joint arena. Combat controllers can infiltrate via combat diving and parachuting including military freefall and possess unique skills in demolition and the lethal joint terminal attack control qualification. All these skills Major Friedman has successfully mastered.
In addition to being active duty in the Air Force, Major Friedman serves as an Executive Producer for Surrender, a faith-based film which follows true-life stories of seven elite combat warriors representing four branches of the US Special Operations Command.
He quotes the Department Of Defense statistic that on average, 22 veterans commit suicide daily. Major Friedman is gravely concerned about the many who are suffering the effects of war, from self-destruction to self-elimination. Surrender highlights these challenges and shares messages of hope to the “hurting heroes of our country.” This platform includes suggestions of what we, as Americans, can do to support veterans fighting this epidemic of suicide and other effects as casualties of war.
In 2011 Major Friedman and his wife Dayna, established SOF Missions, a faith-based humanitarian missions organization. Teams have been led both domestically and internationally to Brazil, Haiti, Peru, Philippines, Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica.
The organization has responded to several natural disasters deploying experts to aid those in need. SOF Missions has served an estimated 16,000 people through construction, medical clinics, schools and orphanages, as well as through food and supply distribution.