Col. Anna Friederich-Maggard fell in love with Pittsburg State University almost at once. On Saturday the university returned her affection and respect by inducting her into the PSU ROTC Alumni Hall of Fame.
Dr. Steve Scott, PSU president, gave her a framed certificate during half-time ceremonies of the annual "Gorilla Warfare" football game. Col. Friederich-Maggard is the first woman to be inducted into this Hall of Fame.
"My sincerest thanks goes to Lt. Col. Christopher Lambert, military science professor, and Capt. Chad Murrow, executive officer, for coordinating the induction ceremony," she said. "They invested a lot of time and it certainly was a success. I truly appreciate their efforts."
In a telephone interview, the colonel added that process of her induction probably started this summer.
"I was promoted in August, and at my promotion party, my cousin said, 'We should tell the PSU ROTC, they have a Hall of Fame'," Friederich-Maggard said. "I think my cousin, Linda Butts, and my brother, Steven Friederich, were in cahoots."
She was delighted when she received confirmation that she had been selected for the Hall of Fame.
"It was so exciting for me," Friederich-Maggard said. "I loved PSU. I went to some junior colleges and then to K-State and thought I loved that. I came to PSU in 1988 as a transfer student from K-State and within a couple of days I knew it was the college for me."
She graduated from PSU in 1989 with a bachelor of fine arts, and in 2004 earned a master of arts.
Her military career started earlier, when she joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1985, then later transitioned to the Kansas Army National Guard. She received an active duty commission as an air defense artillery officer in 1991.
Friederich-Maggard's active duty assignments include serving as platoon leader and maintenance shop officer, 2nd BN, 1st ADA Regt, Logistics Officer 3rd BN, 43rd ADA Regt, Company Commander for HHC 937th EN Group and the East Bay Recruiting Co., Sacramento, CA. She was assigned as the SGS at the Command and General Staff College and then as the Garrison Public Affairs Operations Officer. From there she served in both division and brigade level PAO positions within the 4th ID. Following her one-year deployment to Iraq in 2005-2006, she was assigned to the Defense Information School as an instructor. Her next position took her to Kaiserlautern, Germany where she served as the Chief of Public Affairs, 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
In that capacity, she was public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Europe's largest command and coordinated and provided public affairs guidance for more than 11,000 soldiers dispersed over 25 military communities. Friederich-Maggard oversaw the production of hundreds of newspaper, social media and broadcast products.
Her mentor in Germany was Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion.
"She mentored me all the way," Friederich-Maggard said. "She's got her third star, and it won't surprise me if she gets her fourth star."
This is an indication that opportunities have grown for qualified women in the U.S. military.
"It used to be a big deal if a woman made colonel, and now there are a lot of women colonels," Friederich-Maggard said.
Now assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., she assumed duties July 13 as editor-in-chief of Military Review Magazine. Published bi-monthly in English, Spanish and Portuguese and quarterly in Arabic, it is distributed in more than 100 countries. The review provides a forum for the open exchange of ideas about military matters of importance to the U.S. Army.
The colonel's other awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medial with Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and the Combat Action Badge.
Now the PSU ROTC Hall of Fame award will join those honors, and it holds a special place in her heart.
"The first two years that I spent in ROTC at PSU were the best two years of my college career," Friederich-Maggard said. "Those who taught us, both military and civilians, were experts. Anyone who gets to work there is lucky."
She would have enjoyed being a military science professor at PSU, but that never worked out with her military career.
"I do get back to PSU whenever I can, every five years or so," Friederich-Maggard said. "We did go to homecoming this year and enjoyed it. We have two teenagers in high school, and I'm trying to sway them to PSU."