Lieutenant Colonel reflects on finding purpose in service

LTC Morgan D. Greene is a professor of Military Science and Leadership for WKU’s ROTC Program, who has spent almost 19 years in the military. 

For the last year and a half he has led the Military Science and Leadership Department. Greene teaches the 400-hundred level classes for the seniors in which they go from cadet to officer and second lieutenant. 

Greene grew up in northeast Pennsylvania on a 60 acre farm where he played football and baseball during his school years. His military journey began when he was deciding what to do for college. 

“The ROTC and the Military Academy really appealed to me in terms of reducing my costs for school,” Greene said. 

With his background in sports, he enjoyed working with a team and coming together to accomplish a common goal. Greene made his decision and chose to go to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. 

During his years there, he joined the rugby team where he states that he “found his people once again. 

“I found that small team cohesive teamwork, all of us working to accomplish a common goal,” Greene said. 

As he prepared to graduate in 2001, Greene was met with one of the biggest American tragedies: 9/11.

He began his time at the academy in the Peacetime Army, but had to quickly turn around and use his training to go to Afghanistan. 

“It was a change. It was interesting,” Greene said. “It was exciting for a future officer because you spent three and half years preparing and training for national defense. Here’s a professional opportunity coming your way to apply what you have learned.”

Greene graduated in 2002, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Science. Greene would go to Fort Campbell, Kentucky to complete his first duty assignment as a new second lieutenant in northern Iraq.

 “We were patrolling the streets. Helping the local government there stabilize and restore essential services. We also established civil control and civil security,” Greene said. 

After his time in Iraq he went to the 75th Ranger regiment, where he “found himself.”

“As a young man, I felt like I found what I was good at. I found the people I could identify with,” Greene said. “I found trust, teamwork and camaraderie. I got hooked.”

In 2006, Greene got married and completed more assignments. The army then sent him to compete for the 2010 General Wayne A. Downing Scholarship, that he earned. 

He then went to Princeton University to earn his masters degree in Public Administration. With the army funding his master’s degree, he made the additional commitment to be a career officer for at least 20 years. 

Greene committed and finished grad school along with his wife. From 2012 to 2019, he and his family stayed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After he finished his squadron command job, Greene looked for stability. 

“I was really looking at the option to stabilize my family and give back to the army for my final couple years of service before I retire,” Greene said. 

Greene decided to stay at Hendersonville, Tennessee to honor his wife, a musician, singer and songwriter, whose dream is to write country music.

Throughout the years of his military career, Greene said the biggest thing he has learned was interacting and working with different people. 

“The army is a representative of America. You got people from all walks of life that come to the military that are not farm kids from  northeast Pennsylvania like me,” said Greene. 

With his extensive career in the military, Greene uses his experience to help prepare students. He states that he and other officers help the students by helping them apply what they learned to the real world. 

“That’s where our experience is important because anybody can go tell them what the book says, but how do you get them to think creatively, think critically and analyze situations that they have never been faced with before,” said Greene.

Outside of his military duties, Greene indulges in many hobbies such as physical training and golfing. 

Greene says that with the amount of free time he has with his career, he gets to spend more time with his family to make up for the years he was gone. Greene is the coach for his oldest daughters soccer team and he also spends time driving his youngest daughter, a competitive gymnast, to her gymnastic meets. 

Gabrielle Bunton can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @gabriellebunton.