Calling it a “tragic, untimely death of a member of the Rensselaer family,” Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., Pres. of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, issued a statement about the death of Major General Harold Greene, who graduated from the school in 1980.
Jackson’s statement is below or click here.
Greene, 55, was born in Albany and graduated from high school in Guilderland (1977). At RPI, he earned degrees in engineering. He lived with his family in Falls Church, VA. Greene died Tuesday when a gunman, believed to be an Afghan soldier, opened fire at a military academy near Kabul. Greene is survived by his wife, Susan, and their two children, Matthew and Amelia.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy directed flags on county buildings be flown at half-staff for 30 days in Greene’s honor.
“On behalf of Albany County residents, I extend my deepest condolences to the family, friends and fellow soldiers of Major General Greene,” said McCoy. “We are deeply grateful for his service to our nation and dedication to improving the lives of the troops in his command. He will long be remembered for the impact he had on others in the course of his 34-year career in the U.S. Army.”
Governor Cuomo ordered flags on state government buildings across New York to be flown at half-staff on Thursday, August 7.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Major General Harold J. Greene,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “Major General Greene was an Albany native who earned his commission as an engineer officer shortly after graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and he dedicated more than 30 years of his life in service to his country. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer my thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Major General Greene. We will never forget his sacrifice, and we will honor his service with pride.”
FULL STATEMENT FROM RPI
“It is with profound sadness that I write to inform you of the tragic, untimely death of a member of the Rensselaer family. Major General Harold J. Greene, a member of the Rensselaer Class of 1980, was killed in Afghanistan during a routine visit to a British military base near Kabul.
“The thoughts and prayers of the global Rensselaer community are with Major General Greene's family, as well as his friends and fellow service members. Words fall short of expressing our sorrow for their loss.
“Major General Greene earned his bachelor's degree in materials engineering and master's degree in management engineering from Rensselaer. He also earned a master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California. Additionally, he received a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College and was a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“After graduating from Rensselaer, he received his commission as an engineer, and went on to rise to the rank of two-star general. He was highly decorated for his many accomplishments and successes. In his latest assignment, his responsibilities included providing acquisition oversight of Army systems and acquisition reform initiatives for the Army Acquisition Executive. Before that, he led the organization responsible for research, development, acquisition, and life cycle management of the Army intelligence, electronic warfare and sensor systems.
“We were privileged to have Major General Greene join us on campus for the 2010 opening of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center. Last year, he was the Guest of Honor at the 62nd annual Joint Services Military Ball of the New York Capital District Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in Cohoes, at which many Rensselaer students were in attendance and benefitted from his insight, experience, and humor.
“Major General Greene was a leader, a thinker, and a person of action. He exemplifies the type of outstanding individual that we challenge all Rensselaer students to aspire to become.
“As a decorated soldier and patriot, Major General Greene protected and defended our country and citizens with dignity, honor, and excellence. His service and ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.”