Harold J. Greene

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Harold J. Greene
A photograph of a grinning man in a United States Army uniform. Behind the man are two separate flags that comprise the background, one being the national flag of the United States of America and the other being the personal standard of a United States Army major general.
Greene in 2012
Born(1959-02-11)February 11, 1959[2]
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.[3]
DiedAugust 5, 2014(2014-08-05) (aged 55)
Camp Qargha, Kabul, Afghanistan
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1980–2014[4][5]
RankArmy-USA-OF-07.svg Major general[6][7][8][9]
Commands heldCombined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (Deputy commander)[6]
Natick Soldier Systems Center
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan 
AwardsU.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg Army Distinguished Service Medal[10]
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit (4)[11]
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart Medal[11][N 1]
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal (6)
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Army Commendation Medal (4)
Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Army Achievement Medal
Spouse(s)Sue Myers (wife)[3]
RelationsHarold F. Greene (father)[3]
Eva S. Greene (mother)[3]
Matthew Greene (son)[1]
Amelia Greene (daughter)[1]

Harold Joseph "Harry" Greene (February 11, 1959 – August 5, 2014) was a United States Army general who was killed during the War in Afghanistan. During his time with the U.S. Army, he held various commands associated with engineering and logistical support for U.S. and coalition troops. At the time of his death, he was deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan.

At the rank of major general, Greene was the highest-ranking American service member killed by hostile action since Lieutenant General Timothy J. Maude was killed in the September 11 attacks, and the highest-ranking service member killed on foreign soil during a war since Rear Admiral Rembrandt Cecil Robinson was killed during the Vietnam War in May 1972.[12][13] To date, Greene is also the highest-ranking American officer to be killed in combat in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.[14]

Greene was killed at Camp Qargha, Afghanistan when a member of the Afghan National Army opened fire on a delegation of general officers and other dignitaries who were conducting an inspection tour. Fourteen NATO and Afghan service members were wounded in the attack. The attacker was killed at the scene when NATO service members returned fire; a subsequent investigation indicated that the Afghan soldier, a 22-year old Pashtun, was motivated by unhappiness over being denied leave to travel home during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Early life and education[edit]

Greene was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 11, 1959, to Eva May (Shediack) and Harold F. Greene.[3][15] He grew up in Schenectady, New York[16] graduated from Guilderland High School in 1977,[17] and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a bachelor's degree in materials engineering in 1980.[18] Greene's father lived in Guilderland, New York at the time of his death. His mother died in February 2013.[3] Greene received a master's degree in industrial engineering from RPI, and a master's in materials engineering from the University of Southern California (USC). In addition, he received a master's degree in mechanical engineering from USC,[1] and a Ph.D. (1992) in materials science, also from USC.[1][6]

Greene's military education included the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, and the United States Army Command and General Staff College. He completed the Defense Systems Management College's Advanced Program Management Course at the Defense Acquisition University, and also held a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the United States Army War College.[19][20]


Greene speaking at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in May 2010
Greene being promoted to major general in August 2012
U.S. Army soldiers remove Greene's casket from a plane after it arrives in Delaware.

Greene received his commission as an engineer officer in 1980, after completing Reserve Officer Training Corps at RPI.[1]

As he worked his way through the ranks, Greene's assignments included platoon leader, company executive officer, and battalion staff officer, Fort Polk; resident engineer in Athens; project engineer in Istanbul; brigade engineer and company commander, V Corps, West Germany; staff officer and materials engineer, Army Aviation and Troop Command, St. Louis; product manager, Aerial Common Sensor, Fort Monmouth; and assistant director, Combat Developments Directorate, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center, Fort Leonard Wood.[14][21] At the time of the September 11 attacks in 2001, he was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.[14]

Greene was promoted to brigadier general in late 2009, and served as deputy commanding general of United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground.[22] and the commanding general of Natick Soldier Systems Center.[23] While at Natick, Greene urged the military to incorporate smartphones, video games and virtual worlds into military training.[24] Later, he became Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology). Promoted to major general in 2012, he was Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management in the same office.[6] In January 2014 he was named deputy commander of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan.


On August 5, 2014, Greene was killed after being shot by an Afghan soldier with an M16 rifle at Camp Qargha's Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul, Afghanistan.[25][26] He had been making a routine visit to a training facility at the time.[27] Fourteen NATO and Afghan service members were wounded in the attack,[28] including Brigadier General Michael Bartscher of the German Bundeswehr, two Afghan generals and another Afghan officer, eight Americans, and two British soldiers.[28][29]

On the morning of August 7, 2014, Greene's body arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.[30][31][32] Greene was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on August 14, 2014.[33]

On the September 25, 2015, nine British servicemen acting as the Close Protection Team for the entire group were each awarded the US Army Commendation Medal for their quick actions in killing the assailant as well as heroic and meritorious service in saving the lives of many others.[34]

On July 10, 2015, the Town of Natick, MA renamed Kansas Street in honor of the general. The street was dedicated General Greene Avenue.

Personal life[edit]

Greene was married to Sue Myers, a doctor[35] and retired colonel who worked as a professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.[3][1][32] At the time of his death, she lived in Falls Church, Virginia.[14] Greene had two children, a daughter, Amelia Greene, and a son, Matthew Greene, who is a U.S. Army lieutenant.[3][1]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Award numeral 2.png
1st row
Army Distinguished Service Medal
2nd row
Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters[6][11]
Purple Heart Medal[11][N 1]
Meritorious Service Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster[6]
3rd row
Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters[6]
Army Achievement Medal[6]
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star[6]
4th row
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with award numeral 2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Posthumously awarded.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Pearce, Matt; Cloud, David S. (August 5, 2014). "Slain U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold Greene remembered for brilliance, humor". Los Angeles Times. Chicago, Illinois: Tribune Company. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  2. ^ NSSC This Week remembers Major General Harold Greene Archived September 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, p. 24
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Yusko, Dennis (August 6, 2014). "Father of major general killed in Afghanistan: 'Something is missing'". Albany Times-Union. Albany, New York: Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene killed in Afghanistan". CNN. August 5, 2014. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "Insider attack victim identified as Maj. Gen. Harold Greene". Army Times. August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Major General Harold J. Greene — Deputy for Acquisitions and Systems Management Headquarters, Department of the Army" (PDF). Washington, D.C. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  7. ^ "392F – C4ISR Breakfast – Featuring MG Harold J. Greene, USA". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  8. ^ "Condolence Statement from the Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno for the Loss of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene". Archived from the original on August 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "335". Title 10, Part 2, Section 3281. United States Code. Retrieved August 12, 2014. (1) Major general
  10. ^ "Army General Officer Killed in Afghanistan". Army.mil. Washington, DC. August 6, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d Lin, C.J. (August 14, 2014). "Maj. Gen. Harold Greene receives full burial honors at Arlington". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew; Kakaraug, Haris (August 5, 2014). "U.S. General Is Killed in Attack at Afghan Base, Officials Say". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "Maj. Gen. Harold Greene Is Highest Ranking Soldier Killed Since Vietnam". ABC News. August 5, 2014. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d "Major General Harold Greene killed in Afghanistan attack; highest ranking officer killed in combat since 1970". WJLA.com. Associated Press. August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "In Memory of Eva S. Greene 1928–2013". New Comer-Cannon Funeral Home. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  16. ^ Bob Fredericks. "Afghan soldier who killed US general hid in bathroom with NATO gun". New York Post.
  17. ^ "With deepest condolences on the loss of Maj. Gen. Harold Greene". Guilderland Central School District. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  18. ^ Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Statement on the Death of Major General Harold J. Greene '80, August 5, 2014
  19. ^ United States Army (August 2014). "Army general killed in Afghanistan". Army.mil. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  20. ^ Garamone, Jim (August 6, 2014). "Officials Identify Army Major General Killed in Afghanistan". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  21. ^ "U.S. Army Biography, Harold J. Greene" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  22. ^ "Army's research, development command moves to historic facilities | Article | The United States Army". Army.mil. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  23. ^ "Natick Soldier Systems Center Master Plan Overview" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  24. ^ Martin, Andrew; Lin, Thomas (May 1, 2011). "Military Tests Apps and Other Digital Training Tools: Keyboards First. Then Grenades". New York Times. New York City, New York: The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  25. ^ "Two star general was shot in the back of the head after Afghan soldier hid in the bathroom preparing for sneak attack".
  26. ^ "American army officer killed, many wounded in Afghan insider attack". Afghanistan Sun. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  27. ^ "U.S. general killed in Afghanistan was key figure in training effort". Washington Post. August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  28. ^ a b Afghan insider's killing of U.S. general marks grim renewal of tactic, Los Angeles Times
  29. ^ Afghan soldier who killed U.S. general is identified, Los Angeles Times
  30. ^ "Body of Major General Harold Greene arrives in Dover". Boston Globe. Associated Press. August 7, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  31. ^ Carroll, Chris (August 7, 2014). "Body of US general killed in Afghan insider attack arrives at Dover AFB". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  32. ^ a b Air Force Mortuary Affairs (August 7, 2014). "Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene honored in dignified transfer Aug. 7". United States Air Force. United States Department of the Air Force. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  33. ^ Gruber, Jack (August 14, 2014). "Service Honors Gen. Harold Greene". USA Today. Tysons Corner, Virginia. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  34. ^ Cross, Charlotte (September 24, 2015). "US Army Honours British Soldiers Over Kabul Attack". Forces TV. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  35. ^ Army memorial ceremony honors Maj. Gen. Greene (Aug. 14, 2014)

External links[edit]