On Feb. 13, members of the campus community came together for a celebration of the life of a patriot, soldier, and friend of Rensselaer at the Heffner Alumni House. The Office of Alumni Relations unveiled a plaque in honor of Major General Harold Joseph Greene ’80, who was killed in Afghanistan in August 2014 during a routine visit to a British military base near Kabul.
Members of Major General Greene’s family, along with close friends from his college days at Rensselaer and from Guilderland High School, took part in the ceremony.
“The Rensselaer Alumni Association is honored to recognize the service of Major General Harold Joseph Greene ’80 and his ultimate sacrifice,” said Jeff Schanz, assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the Rensselaer Alumni Association. “We are privileged to count him as a graduate of Rensselaer.”
Major General Greene earned his bachelor’s degree in materials engineering and master’s degree in management engineering from Rensselaer. He also earned 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.
Major General Greene returned to the Rensselaer campus for the 2010 opening of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center. In 2013, he was the Guest of Honor at the 62nd annual Joint Services Military Ball of the New York Capital District Reserve Officer Training Corps in Cohoes, at which many Rensselaer students were in attendance and benefited from his insight, experience, and humor.
The memorial plaque reads:
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, he protected and defended our country and citizens with dignity, honor, and excellence.
His service and ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.