KABUL: General killed in Afghan attack was engineer - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

General killed in Afghan attack was engineer

Posted: Updated:
U.S. Army Major General Harold Greene U.S. Army Major General Harold Greene
WASHINGTON -

Harold J. Greene, the two-star Army general who on Tuesday became the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be killed in either of America's post-9/11 wars, was an engineer who rose through the ranks as an expert in developing and fielding the Army's war materiel. He was on his first deployment to a war zone. Greene was killed when a gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier opened fire at a military academy near Kabul. More than a dozen other coalition soldiers were wounded, including about eight Americans, according to early accounts of the attack. It was among the bloodiest insider attacks of the war in Afghanistan.

The Army's top soldier, Gen. Ray Odierno, issued a statement Tuesday evening saying the Army's thoughts and prayers were with Greene's family as well as the families of those injured in the attack.

In a 34-year career that began at Fort Polk, Louisiana, Greene, a native of upstate New York, earned a reputation as an inspiring leader with a sense of humility. He had been in Afghanistan since January, serving as deputy commander of a support command called the Combined Security Transition Command, in Kabul.

At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Greene was serving at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and when the U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003 he was a student at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Greene flourished in the less glamorous side of the Army that develops, tests, builds and supplies soldiers with equipment and technology. That is a particularly difficult job during wartime, since unconventional or unanticipated battlefield challenges like roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, call for urgent improvements in equipment.

In 2009-2011, for example, he served as deputy commanding general of the Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command and senior commander of the Natick Soldier System Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland. During that tour of duty he gained the rank of brigadier general, and at his promotion ceremony in December 2009 he was lauded for his leadership skills and ability to inspire those around him.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes applauded Greene for a "sense of self, a sense of humility" and an exemplary work ethic, according to an account of the promotion ceremony published by the Times Union of Albany, New York, which called Greene an Albany native.

"In every job I had we got things done that I think made our Army better, and it was done by other people," Greene was quoted as saying. "All I did was try to pull people in the right direction and they went out and did great things."

Greene and his wife, Susan, lived in the Washington suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, where neighbors recalled he would often go for morning runs, The Washington Post reported. The Greenes' son Matthew also is in the Army and their daughter, Amelia, recently graduated from Binghamton University in New York.

Greene earned a bachelor of science degree in materials engineering and a master's degree in industrial engineering, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He later studied at the University of Southern California and also attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Leavenworth, Kansas.

In 2010, he spoke at the opening of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center, a research facility at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with the mission of improving the Army's understanding of social, information and communication networks, according to the Army's account of the event.

"We're in a fight now with an enemy that's a little bit different and uses different techniques ... and networks are a key part of that," Greene said.

He said finding patterns in the tactics of insurgents was difficult because of the way networks evolve and otherwise change. So the goal was to bring to light the patterns and determine how to anticipate and influence the actions of insurgents.

"The enemy is every bit as good as we are at using that network to our detriment so this is essential work, this is about defending our country," Greene said. "You must know that there is a direct application on the battlefield and we're using it today, but we don't really understand it yet so this is a critical element."

His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Service Medal, a Meritorious Service Award and an Army Commendation Medal.

Associated Press writer George M. Wash in Albany, New York, and Monika Mathur at the AP News Research Center contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesMore>>

  • Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:16:12 GMT
    The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
  • 'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    Friday, September 12 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-09-12 16:38:35 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.
  • 3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash

    3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:23 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:23:24 GMT
    Highway 55 at McCrimmon Pkwy. in Cary is closed due to an accident involving a dump truck and an SUV.
    Highway 55 at McCrimmon Pkwy. in Cary is closed due to an accident involving a dump truck and an SUV.
  • Trending Stories on WNCN.com

  • U.S. & WorldMore>>

  • Duke study: Water contamination tied to wells, not fracking

    Duke study: Water contamination tied to wells, not fracking

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:02:46 GMT
    A new study by scientist from multiple schools, including Duke University, says problems with the wells and not hydraulic fracturing itself, was the primary cause of drinking water contamination issues in parts of Pennsylvania and Texas.
    A new study by scientist from multiple schools, including Duke University, says problems with the wells and not hydraulic fracturing itself, was the primary cause of drinking water contamination issues in parts of Pennsylvania and Texas.
  • Islamic State group's war chest is growing daily

    Islamic State group's war chest is growing daily

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:39 AM EDT2014-09-14 14:39:22 GMT
    © AP photo© AP photo
    Islamic State militants, who once relied on wealthy Persian Gulf donors for money, have become a self-sustaining financial juggernaut, earning more than $3 million a day from oil smuggling, human trafficking, theft and extortion, according to U.S. intelligence officials and private experts.
    Islamic State militants, who once relied on wealthy Persian Gulf donors for money, have become a self-sustaining financial juggernaut, earning more than $3 million a day from oil smuggling, human trafficking, theft and extortion, according to U.S. intelligence officials and private experts.
  • Man allegedly cooked dog, fed it to ex-girlfriend

    Man allegedly cooked dog, fed it to ex-girlfriend

    Saturday, September 13 2014 1:30 PM EDT2014-09-13 17:30:40 GMT
    A Northern California man has been arrested after his ex-girlfriend said he cooked her dog and fed it to her.
    A Northern California man has been arrested after his ex-girlfriend said he cooked her dog and fed it to her.
Powered by WorldNow

1732 Valley View Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35209

Telephone: 205.933.1313
Fax: 205.323.3314
Email: newstips@alabamas13.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.