Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Lewis Harned

By AMY TURNEROctober 4, 2022

2022 Hall of Fame Inductee

University of Wisconsin - Madison (1947)

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Brig. Gen. Lewis B. Harned (Ret.) M.D. was born on August 17, 1924, in Madison, Wisconsin.

Harned graduated high school in 1942 and tried to enlist in the military to serve in World War II. Unfortunately, he was deemed medically unqualified due to his near-sightedness. This disqualification did not deter Harned as he volunteered for the American Field Service and was attached to the British Eight Army as an ambulance driver. During this time, he saw extensive fighting in Northern Africa and participated in major campaigns in Italy, including the invasion of Sicily and the Battle of Monte Cassino. As the war ended, he was awarded three British medals for his service and returned to Madison, WI, to attend college.

While attending the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Harned completed ROTC while completing his undergraduate degree in 1947. Unfortunately, upon graduation, he was still deemed medically unqualified to serve in the U.S. Army and decided to continue his education at Hahnemann Medical School, earning a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1951.

The start of the Korean War brought another draft; this time, since Harned had become a doctor, he was deemed eligible and was commissioned as a Warrant Officer in the Army. While attending training at Fort Sam Houston, many volunteers needed to switch services due to an abundance of doctors in the Army. Harned was one of the volunteers selected and transferred to the Air Force, where he served as a surgeon at the 2791st United States Field Hospital in Ogden, Utah, from 1953-1955. He received an honorable discharge in 1955 from the Medical Corps as a Captain.

Upon his honorable discharge in 1955, Harned believed that his service to the military was over. He had an extensive career as an orthopedic surgeon, primarily with Surgical and Orthopedic Associates of Waterloo, IA, until 1985. During this time, over 30 years (1960-1984), Dr. Harned was heavily associated with the University of Northern Iowa, serving as a team physician for 34 years and was later inducted into their Hall of Fame. He retired in 1985 and moved back to Madison, WI, where his third stint in the Armed Forces began.

In 1985 the Wisconsin Army National Guard required an orthopedic surgeon, so Harned once again volunteered to serve and was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel. He was quickly promoted to Colonel in 1985 and later assumed command of the 13th Evacuation Hospital in 1988. As Desert Shield and eventually Desert Storm began, Harned's hospital deployed to Kuwait, where he commanded nearly 400 Soldiers running a 408-bed hospital some 40 miles south of the Iraqi border. During Desert Storm, he was the oldest commander in the conflict at 65-years-old.

During the 100-hour war, his hospital treated over 3,500 outpatients and completed 109 surgeries while treating both U.S. and enemy casualties. His hospital became one of General Fred Franks' favorite places to visit as was annotated in the book co-written with Tom Clancy "Into the Storm." Upon his return from Desert Storm, Harned was promoted to Brigadier General and retired from the military for a final time in 1992, as required by his age.

His honors include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Southwest Asia Service Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. In addition, he also received three foreign service medals - the Italy Star, the British Wars Medal (1939-1945), and the British Campaign Star (1939-1945).

In 1983, Harned earned an award from the Iowa High School Athletic Association for his service to Iowa high school athletics, was inducted into the University of Northern Iowa Athletics hall of fame for his 30+ years as a team physician and received the Panther Letterman Award.

He continued his efforts in the Madison, WI community focusing on fundraising for the establishment of physician rooms in area high schools. Lastly, he spearheaded a campaign throughout the greater Madison area to ensure flags were placed on veteran’s graves, especially in smaller communities in the region.

About the Army ROTC Hall of Fame

The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 2016 as part of the ROTC Centennial celebration. The first class (2016) inducted 326 former ROTC Cadets who had distinguished themselves in their military or civilian career.

The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.

Read more about the 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees.