Mari K. Eder
Mari K. Eder
|Born||Grove City, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1977–2012|
Mari K. Eder is a retired United States Army Major General. General Eder was appointed Commanding General of the United States Army Reserve Joint and Special Troops Support Command (redesignated as the 76th Operational Reserve Command in 2013), Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2009, retiring from the Army in 2013. Prior to assuming command of the USAR Joint and Special Troop Support Command, she was assigned as the Deputy Chief of the US Army Reserve and as the Deputy Chief of U.S. Army Public Affairs.
Early life and education
A native of Grove City, Pennsylvania, General Eder graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English in 1975 and a MA in English in 1976. Eder entered the U.S. Army in 1977, and, after receiving her commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps, she served at Fort McClellan, Alabama and then Fort George G. Meade, Maryland until leaving active duty in September 1982 and transitioning to the Army Reserve.
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General Eder served over 36 years in the Army, inclusive of both Active and Army Reserve service. General Eder commanded at the company, battalion, brigade and division level. Her previous assignments include the U.S. Army's Deputy Chief of Public Affairs, commander of the 6th Brigade (Professional Development), 80th Division (Institutional Training) while concurrently serving on active duty as the Chief of Staff with the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. General Eder had additional joint experience, serving with the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany where she was assigned as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs. There she directed theater media relations during NATO operations in Kosovo and at the inception of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Today, Maj. Gen. Eder consults, advises, and speaks frequently at colleges and universities on national security issues, communications (including cyber and AI), ethics, and leadership. Most recently she has been speaking on “The Information Apocalypse” to audiences ranging from the Atlanta Council on International Relations to the World Affairs Council Ambassador's Roundtable in Connecticut, and at George Mason University's Character Assassination and Populism conference in Arlington VA.
Maj. Gen. Eder has an established record of scholarship, research, and publishing. Her book, Leading the Narrative: The Case for Strategic Communication, is used in a number of university communications courses. She is the author of numerous case studies and articles on military ethics, leadership, and strategic communications as well as two books of children's stories.
Her military education includes the Signal Officer Basic Course, the Military Police and Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Courses, the Public Affairs Officer Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree of strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. She is also a graduate of Senior Executive and leadership programs at the National Defense University and the Army War College. She is also a graduate of the advanced program in mass communications at the University of South Carolina and completed the Training with Industry Fellowship with Fleishman-Hilliard Public Relations in Washington, DC. She is an experienced speaker and guest lecturer and has served as an adjunct professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the NATO School, and Sweden's International Security Command.
Eder received a Doctor of Humane Letters(honors causa) from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania on December 14, 2013. She was named an Honorary Member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps in 2011, an accolade only accorded to two other individuals previously. She was named to the Communications Hall of Fame at Edinboro University of PA in 2013 and inducted into the Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame in 2017 and became the fourth recipient of the Joe Galloway Lifetime Achievement Award.In 2011, she received the Vatican award of the Knight, Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great from Pope Benedict XVI. There are about 200 people in the world who hold this chivalric knighthood. Now in her second term as Trustee with the U.S. Army War College Foundation, she was elected to the Executive Committee in March, 2017 and serves as Board Secretary.
As a civilian, General Eder served as the Director of Public Affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. There she built the Center's strategic plan for marketing communications from the ground up and taught the role of a free press in democratic societies to government officials from over 36 nations. In addition to serving as an adjunct professor and lecturer at the NATO School, Sweden's International Security Command and at Norway's military Command and Staff Centre. She has led and spoken at communications and public diplomacy conferences in Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, and Jordan and at the National Defense University, the Army War College, and the Naval War College. Her articles in the ‘Information Apocalypse’ series are used in international relations and communications courses at universities ranging from Appalachian State University to the University of Tokyo.
She is active in animal rescue and supports a number of groups that support dog adoption.
Awards and decorations
Her awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with three oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Of note, General Eder received a knighthood in the Roman Catholic Church in 2011; a rarely awarded Order of Knighthood of the Holy See as a Dame Grand Cross of the First Class in the Order of St. Gregory the Great( DCSG). Additionally, General Eder received a Doctorate of Humane Letters (DHL) from her alma mater, Edinboro University, in December 2013. Previous recipients include John Hope Franklin and The Rev. Fred Rogers.
- Legion of Merit
- Meritorious Service Medal
- Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Army Commendation Medal
- Joint Service Achievement Medal
- Army Achievement Medal
- Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
- Army Staff Identification Badge