Diane Jean Diekman grew up on a South Dakota farm, attended a one-room country school in the Hidewood Valley , and graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1968. Today she is a retired U.S. Navy captain and an author.
Four years at Augustana College in Sioux Falls , South Dakota , provided her with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, English and Spanish. When a mandated closure of rural schools ended her teaching dream, Diane enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After two years as an aviation storekeeper, she attended officer candidate school and earned a commission in 1975.
Designated an aeronautical maintenance duty officer in 1979, Diane was promoted to captain in 1997. She commanded Defense Contract Management Agency Van Nuys in Los Angeles , and her final Navy assignment was the Office of the Naval Inspector General in Washington D.C.
LIVE FAST, LOVE HARD: The Faron Young Story, Diane’s biography of Country Music Hall of Fame member Faron Young, was recently published by the University of Illinois Press . Her previous books are NAVY GREENSHIRT: A Leader Made, Not Born, a memoir of her military career, and A FARM IN THE HIDEWOOD: My South Dakota Home, her childhood memoir. For five years, she wrote a newspaper column of military and travel experiences.
Her second Country Music Hall of Fame biography is TWENTIETH CENTURY DRIFTER: The Life of Marty Robbins.
Captain Diekman is listed in Marquis Who’s Who of American Women 1997-1998, 2000-2001, and 2002-2003. She graduated from the Naval War College and holds two master’s degrees from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University --- a Master of Aeronautical Science and a Master of Business Administration in Aviation.
An avid runner, Diane has more than a dozen marathons and ultramarathons to her credit. She loves country-western music, dancing and reading, is active in her Lutheran church, and owns a Mary Kay beauty consultant business. She lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with her daughters, April and Amanda.