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Robert Tyron Frederick was born in San Francisco California on March 14, 1907. At seventeen, he was accepted into the U.S. Military Academy and upon graduation was commissioned as a Coast Artillery Officer. After an assignment in the War Department LTC Frederick was chosen to organize, train, and command a new US-Canadian commando force called the First Special Service Force. The fully integrated Canadian and American regiment trained in winter operations, parachute jumping, demolitions, weapons and hand-to-hand combat. They underwent the most physically demanding training of any military organization during WWII. Wherever the “Forcemen” went, so went Frederick. He was always in forefront of activities from training to combat where he would sometimes move in advance of the Force to observe and evaluate their tactics. While in command of the First Special Service Force, Col Frederick and his Force took an objective in the Italian Winter Campaign in approximately 4 hours that a US division was unable to take in 10 days. The Germans called them the “Devil’s Brigade."

January 1944 at the age of 36, he was promoted to Brigadier General and July 1944, at the age of 37, he was promoted to the rank of Major General. (the youngest US ground forces Major General and one of the two youngest US division commanders in WW II.). July 1944 MG Frederick assumed the command of the 1st Allied Airborne Task Force, an ad hoc division sized unit created for the invasion of Southern France. The Task Force successfully routed the Germans from southern France and the French Alpine mountains in record time. Frederick then assumed the command of the 45th Infantry Division for the remainder of the war. During WWII General Frederick set two additional, personal records: he saw more actual combat than any other U.S. general and was wounded more than any other general officer (eight times). Winston Churchill called him the “Greatest Fighting General of all time”. Gen Frederick died in 1970 in his home state of California.

His Awards and Decorations include: the Distinguished Service Cross w/ Oak Leaf Cluster; the Distinguished Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster; Legion of Merit w/oak leaf cluster; Silver Star; and Purple Heart w/7 oak leaf clusters.


Criteria for Evaluation of Award used by the University of Montana & Montana State University

1. To be eligible for this award, the Cadet must first:
a. have successfully graduated from the Leader Development & Assessment Course,
b. be compliant with their Army ROTC contract,
c. exhibit exceptional leadership ability and potential.

2. Award candidates will then be determined using the following criteria:


*Award 1 additional point to total score for each additional 5 points achieved on the APFT extended scale.
**Cadet Command resources units with sufficient ammo to zero and group, however, unit’s can qualify MS IVs (award candidates) if they manage ammunition sufficiently.

SAYWER LINKE; Carroll College

EASTON ALBERT; Montana State University


ZACHARY SCOTT; University of Idaho

JOSHUA Y. DIEDE; University of Montana

SEAN STONEHAM; Montana State University

CONNER ARBITER; University of Idaho

ROBERT BALL; University of Montana

SAMUEL LUKE; University of Montana

ANTHONY RAMBOW; University of Washington


To honor and commemorate MG Robert T. Frederick as their unit commander and the First Special Service Force lineage carried forward by Army Special Forces of the U.S. and Canada, the First Special Service Force  veterans established the ‘Frederick Award’. This award is presented each year at the First Special Service Force Association banquet for the top enlisted operator from both Canada and the United States. 


Annually a request is sent to the United States Army Special Forces Command (USASFC) and Canadian Army Special Forces, initially to Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) and since the stand up of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR), to CSOR Regimental Command. The request is to select each countries ‘Top Operator’ for this award. The FSSFA did not establish criteria as this was left to the respective Army Special Forces Regimental Command to use whatever criteria they deemed appropriate for selecting their recipient soldiers.



​Background.  The award is named for Major General Robert T. Frederick who organized and commanded the First Special Service Force throughout the Italian Campaigns until July 1944.  At the same time he was reassigned to head the 1st Airborne Task Force that jumped into Southern France as part of Operation Dragoon.   This is a dual award, presented to a U.S. Special Forces Soldier and a Canadian Special Operations Forces (CANSOF) Soldier. 


Criteria.  Each Component Subordinate Unit (CSU) will select a CMF 18 Special Forces Noncommissioned Officer whose duty performance had a significant impact on the Special Forces Community during the past year.  Each CSU will submit a packet containing the information and documents listed below.  The USASFC(A) Command Sergeant Major will conduct a board to screen all nominees and select the winner of the Frederick Award.

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