Hundreds showed up at the C5ISR campus on Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland to honor the service, life, leadership, and legacy of Maj. Gen. Harold Greene in a ceremony marking the successful transfer of a special artifact memorializing the fallen leader.
The March 9 ceremony marks the rededication of a memorial plaque for Greene mounted on a large stone featuring his likeness, a seal from his final unit and embossed words about his service and commitment written in Dari and English. The stone had been transferred from the Minister of Defense Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan to the C5ISR Campus at APG.
Greene’s service to his fellow Soldiers and others was highly regarded by speakers during the ceremony who said he was a great Soldier and leader with a genuine care for others and their well-being. He was, they said, a great listener and a great advisor.
“General Greene’s leadership and his humor touched us all in his own way and we all are very humbled and honored to remember and rededicate this plaque,” said Mark C. Kitz, head of the Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S).
Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) Lt. Gen. Robert L. Marion who worked closely with Maj. Gen. Greene shared fond memories of him and spoke about the valuable lessons he learned during his time with the beloved leader.
“I consider myself very, very lucky to have served in ASA(ALT) under General Greene when he was the DASM (Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management) and I was his deputy,” he said. “I learned so much personally and professionally about what it means to be an Army leader by watching him be a leader and a trusted advisor to the ASA(ALT).”
Marion marveled at his former leader’s impressive five engineering degrees, acquisition knowledge and Army business acumen, but it was his pure humanity (and love for sports) that made the biggest impact on those who knew and worked with him.
“From intellect to acquisition expertise, as good as he was at those things, he was a better human being and a better person. That’s what I will remember about General Greene,” he said. “I personally try every day to be half as good as he was as a leader, as a person. He was such a tremendous human being and I appreciated serving under him.”
The Honorable Douglas R. Bush (the ASA(ALT) and the Army Acquisition Executive) praised Gen. Greene’s accomplishments and the impact he made throughout the Army.
“I am astounded by his resume, he has five more engineering degrees than I have,” Mr. Bush said to a warm crowd of laughter. “He was unbelievably qualified to do the amazing things he did for the Army.”
Although he never knew Gen. Greene, Bush said Greene’s legacy lives on through the Army and civilian leaders, friends, and families there in attendance and beyond.
“I didn’t know him personally, but now I realize, I do know him, because I know all of you,” he said. “I see how General Greene shaped many of you. All of those little things we do as leaders, shaping the future leaders without even knowing that you’re doing it. I guarantee that all of these young officers are watching and paying attention. This is such a great Army value, and I have to say that in the dedication, the knowledge and the commitment seen across the acquisition workforce, especially among our civilians and military officers every day, I see General Greene’s legacy.”
“So many of you in this room have been shaped by his life, his service, and his example. I am really proud to be a part of this ceremony and honored to just have a small part in honoring his legacy,” he said.
At the time of his passing, Greene was the highest ranking officer since Vietnam to be killed in action.
Greene previously served as lead for PEO IEW&S, an organization responsible for the development, acquisition, and life cycle management of the Army intelligence, electronic warfare and sensor systems with an annual portfolio of $4.3 billion and 112 programs. Among his notable accomplishments at PEO IEW&S was the management of the Army’s Guardrail program and overseeing the start of the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS) and the Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) programs.
Greene’s military background includes serving as the Product Manager Aerial Common Sensor, Project Manager Battle Command, Deputy Commanding General RDECOM (now DEVCOM) and Program Executive Officer Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S) and leading multi-functional teams of civilians, military, and industry to deliver capability to warfighters. He served as the Director of Materiel on the Army Staff and as the Director for Acquisition and Systems Management in the Army Secretariat. In his final assignment as the Deputy Commanding General Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, he delivered needed equipment, training, sustainment and facilities to Afghan National Security Forces in theater.
He earned a Ph. D. from the University of Southern California in Materials Science and masters degrees in engineering from both Rensselaer and Southern California. He earned a Masters of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College and was a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In the past, Greene expressed his pleasure in PEO IEW&S's ability to timely deliver several systems to warfighters in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was particularly impressed with the PEO’s ability to accomplish several missions simultaneously with great success.
Throughout his military career, Greene led strong teams of Soldiers as well as civilians and contractors to ensure Soldiers were in receipt of the critical systems and products they needed to win on the battlefield.
Like many who enjoyed working within the Army’s ISR community, Greene applauded the incredible talent and amazingly professional people behind the tough and complicated work to deliver systems that give American warfighters the advantage in every scenario. He passionately served in a variety of capacities including product manager and PEO for PEO IEW&S.
Greene’s compassion and love for his fellow comrades extended beyond the labs and organization workspaces and test centers. He would often urge others to visit Soldiers where they are (in garrison or downrange) and see to their needs, see how they accomplish their mission, and identify how acquisition and supply organizations, can best serve and protect them.
The words in English on his plaque reads, “MG Greene believe the Minister of Defense Headquarters building illustrated United States commitment to help Afghanistan and would have a major impact on the command, control and development of a sustainable Afghan National Army. Completing the MOD HQ project was his top priority; he knew the facility would become the symbol of the Afghan National Army. MG Greene died of injuries sustained while inspecting U.S. built facilities at Camp Qargha’s Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul, Afghanistan. HIS MEMORY IS ALWAYS WITH US.”