By way of introduction for some of our readers, Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the American summer holidays.  Kids are out of school, families may go on vacations, and there will certainly be some cookouts and beverages.   We will circle back to these traditions in a moment.

For many of readers of this column, it also the day to remember those that died in service to our Country.   Let’s remember one person  who was an IT Leader, empowered and trusted by the Business, that you may not have heard about—Major General Harold Greene.

I met him when he was still Colonel Greene, and he was in charge of re-inventing a big part of the Army’s command systems that were related to Intelligence.   Let’s imagine the inputs for an “ERP” like system, using pretty low bandwidth devices, and no edge computing capabilities, trying to manage troop movements,  imagery, and communications, and integrating with logistics, health and safety and more, over 20 years ago.

Yeah, it was complicated.

Colonel Greene brought wisdom, humor and optimistic, yet healthy expectations to the design and deployment of these systems.  His combination of engineering acumen  and genuine leadership helped him gain trust with “The Business”, and he developed fair, demanding and genuine relationships with contractors and engineers.  He was, to put it simply, the kind of CIO that we should all be lucky enough to work for or aspire to be.

MG Greene was the highest ranking US serviceperson to die in Afghanistan.  He was married, had two kids, and was serving in Afghanistan, helping with the training and development of the Afghan security forces.  This makes sense, since he cared a lot about education and helping others around him learn.

Brevity being the soul of blogging, it is an excellent day to think about MG Greene, and perhaps find a little inspiration for our work.   Have a cookout, eat a hot dog, and be with your friends and family.  I think MG Greene would approve.