Secretary of the Army John McHugh, left, and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, third from left, watch an Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Greene was shot to death Tuesday when a gunman dressed as an Afghan soldier turned on ISAF troops, wounding about 15 including a German general and two Afghan generals. He is the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be killed in either of America's post-9/11 wars. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Many of the nation’s highest-ranking officers are graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, but Harold Greene got his start in the Army at Fort Polk, like thousands of others before him. He was a college-educated engineer who went on to a 34-year career before his assassination in Afghanistan this week.

As a major general, he was the highest-ranking loss to the Army since Vietnam. A general in the German army and two Afghan generals also were wounded in the attack.

For Greene, the Army was about organization and thinking: He was praised and promoted for leading teams that worked on ways, from armor to communications, to make combat troops safer.

While this nation mourns his loss, the people of Afghanistan lost a friend, whose efforts to train up a new Afghan army would have given that country a brighter future.