Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene was laid to rest Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery where Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno presented the flag to his widow.
Greene, the first general officer to be killed in a combat zone since the Vietnam War, was killed Aug. 5 when an Afghan soldier turned his gun on the U.S. general in Kabul, Afghanistan. Greene was serving as the deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which held the responsibility of training the Afghan Army.
Greene was gunned down in the insider attack that left 15 troops wounded at The Marshal Fahim National Defense University.
Leaders from each one of the military services attended the funeral for the respected general. Greene, 55, leaves a wife, retired Army Col. Sue Myers, a son, Matthew, who recently graduated from U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a daughter, Amelia, and a daughter-in-law Kasandra.
"Words cannot express the sadness we feel at the senseless loss of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene," Secretary of the Army John McHugh said in a statement. "Maj. Greene was a soldier, a scholar and, above all, a trusted professional leader."
Greene earned his commission in the Army in 1980 after he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He filled a host of position over his next 34 years in the Army, but really made his name as a leader in Army acquisition.
Before his recent assignment in Afghanistan, Greene had a lengthy and distinguished career of Army service which included time as a colonel in the Army's program modernization office, or G8, and several high level positions with Army acquisition.
His assignment prior to his deployment to Afghanistan was serving in the role as deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, a role with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition, Logistics and Technology or ASA(ALT). In this position he conducted oversight management and engineering guidance for a wide range of Army acquisition programs and technologies.
Greene was known for his scientific and technical knowledge. He holds a doctorate from the University of Southern California in Materials Science as well as Masters degrees in engineering from both Rensselaer and Southern California. He also holds a Masters of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College.
As a one-star general, Greene spent several years as the Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Senors or IEW&S. In this role, which was an integral part of the Army acquisition community, Greene oversaw the development of key sensors for surveillance aircraft, intelligence technology and electronic warfare devices for Soldiers in battle.
Greene also served as the Deputy Commanding General and Senior Commander of the services' Soldier Systems Center, Natick, Massachusetts.
Highly regarded for his intellect and detailed knowledge of complex technological systems, Greene was also revered for his makeshift sense of humor and personable approach to colleagues and subordinates. He was known for kind leadership and thoughtful mentoring of Army subordinates and often made a point of telling joke while clearly explaining complicated scientific, technological and engineering topics.
-- Michael Hoffman can be reached at email@example.com