Colonel Mitch Fridley '89, Deputy Commandant Training
Colonel Mitchell Fridley was born and raised in Alleghany County and is a 1985 graduate of Alleghany High School. He graduated from VMI in 1989 with a B.A. in Biology and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps.
Col. Fridley’s first duty station was with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany where he served as a Squadron Intelligence Officer and as a Ground Surveillance Radar Platoon leader. He also served several months in Kuwait during Desert Storm with the 11th ACR. Col. Fridley then served a three-year tour as a Battalion Intelligence Officer in the 3-8 Mustang Battalion of the First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
Col. Fridley left active duty in 1995 and traveled the world for half a year before joining the Army Reserves, where he commanded a company. In 1997, Col. Fridley went to work for General Dynamics Corporation in Saudi Arabia for 2 ½ years as a training team leader in their M1A2 tank training program, and subsequently left the active Reserves and entered the Individual Ready Reserve.
Upon return from Saudi Arabia, Col. Fridley worked one year as the Commandant of Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia before coming to Virginia Military Institute as the Assistant Commandant for Administration and Logistics in the summer of 2001. He currently serves as the Deputy Commandant for Operations at VMI.
In 2004, Col. Fridley returned to the Army Reserve and was mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed to Baghdad, Iraq as the assistant J3 Operations Officer with the Multi-national Security Transition Command from August 2005 to July 2006.
Upon return from Iraq, Col. Fridley returned to his job at VMI as well as service in the Army Reserve. He served in various leadership roles in the USAR, including Battalion Executive Officer, Assistant Division G3, and Brigade S3 before assuming command of a Training Support Battalion in December of 2009. After three years of command, COL. Fridley attended Resident U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA for a year where he earned a Masters of Strategic Studies. He currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff G7 for Training in the 80th Training Command in Richmond.
Col. Fridley is a graduate of the Military Intelligence Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Service and Staff School, Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.
Col. Fridley’s awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation and Achievement medals, and Airborne and Air Assault badges.
He is the son of Harrison and Terry Fridley of Lexington, Virginia.