Greene, 55, had recently returned to Afghanistan to assume the position of deputy commanding general for the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. He is the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be killed in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.
The Army general was killed while on an official visit with other Western military officials to Camp Qargha, also known as the Kabul Afghan National Army Officer Academy. Military officials said that the shooter was an unidentified Afghan soldier who was dressed in his uniform and launched a surprise attack, firing a machine gun at the group, killing Greene and wounding at least 17 others.
A Pentagon spokesman told CNN that the injured included 15 U.S. troops. The other two wounded in the attack included a German brigadier general, whose wounds were not considered life threatening, and Afghan Gen. Ghulam Sakhi.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno expressed his condolences to Greene's family and the families of the wounded. "These soldiers were professionals, committed to the mission. It is their service and sacrifice that define us as an Army."
Both Odierno and Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby noted that Tuesday's attack will not impact the U.S. military's draw-down in Afghanistan. "We remain committed to our mission in Afghanistan and will continue to work with our Afghan partners to ensure the safety and security of all coalition soldiers and civilians," Odierno stated.
Greene, of Falls Church, Va., is survived by his wife, Susan, and their two children. His son, Matthew, is in the Army and daughter, Amelia, recently graduated from Binghamton University.