WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Aug. 14, 2014) -- The Army paid tribute to Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene in a memorial ceremony this morning in the Pentagon auditorium.
The 55-year-old deputy commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan was killed by an Afghan Soldier Aug. 5, while making a routine visit to Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul, Afghanistan. Thirteen NATO and Afghan Soldiers were wounded in the green on blue attack. The assailant was killed.
Following the National Anthem, invocation and scripture reading, host Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the standing-room-only audience that when a man or woman joins with the Army, they really have two families, the biological and the Army family.
"Today, we bring those two families together to honor Harry," he said.
"Harry was a Soldier, a husband, a father, a son, a friend, a leader and a great patriot," Odierno said. "He left an indelible mark on everyone he came in contact with, and when I think about Harry, I think of a scholar, an inspirational leader, one who was humble and a passionate Soldier, always committed to whatever mission he was given."
Odierno said that when he was looking for the right person to establish the multinational mechanisms to sustain the Afghan National Army and Security Force for the long term, he knew Greene was the right Soldier -- "he had all the credentials, background, personality and the knowledge to prepare the Afghan Security Forces as U.S. and coalition troops depart.
"I believe he had a rare combination of intellect, compassion and warrior ethos. He was simply a great man," added Odierno. "What I'll always remember about Harry is that he was a true patriot and the epitome of what we hope and expect of our senior leaders -- a leader who is competent, able to do whatever job is given to him and to do it to the best of his ability with commitment to Soldiers, the Army, the nation, the mission and able to balance that with commitment to his family."
Following Odierno, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Heidi Shyu recalled her relationship with Greene. He had served as her deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management until deploying to Afghanistan just eight months ago.
"My words can't fully express the sense of loss, the sadness we share with the Greene family," she said. "In his 34-year career, Harry was an engineer of technical expertise, business acumen and decisive leadership to the Army.
"He was passionate about his responsibilities to provide our Soldiers with the best equipment in this world," she continued. "I could count on Harry to make decisions and tackle problems with sound logic and clear perspective on what's needed, especially on matters that affect our Soldiers. I sorely miss his intellect, his talent, his sense of humor and his mentorship."
Shyu recalled a trip she had recently taken to Afghanistan. She asked the general how he was managing the challenging conditions and the hectic pace he was facing on a daily basis.
"He told me in no uncertain terms, 'it got me out of the Pentagon,' and 'there's no other place I'd rather be, because I'm surrounded by Soldiers,'" she recalled. "We say 'goodbye' to our fallen friend. Harry Greene truly lived a successful life as a defining example of generations to follow, and God bless Maj. Gen. Green, his family he cherished, and the Army he so loved."
Greene is survived by his wife, Dr. Susan Myers; daughter Amelia Greene; son, Army 1st Lt. Matthew Greene; and his daughter-in-law, Kasandra Greene. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, today.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made to a favorite scouting, youth sports or education program. Donations also can be made to Fisher House, USO, Wounded Warrior Project, or the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, in memory of Major General Harold J. Greene.