To Teach And Preach: From Vietnam And Special Forces To The Pulpit

Channing M. Greene


Channing Greene was born in Vermont in 1939 and grew up in Cape Cod. During World War II, he recalls seeing flotsam and jetsam, and oil wash up on shore from ships being sunk off the coast of North America. He also remembers seeing German Prisoners of War when his father was serving on active duty at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts. He attended West Point with the Class of 1961 and excelled at Spanish although he struggled with Math. When it came time to choose a branch, he selected Infantry and his first assignment was in Korea with the First Cavalry from 1962 to 1963. While there, he set up a counterinsurgency course. After Korea, he entered the Special Forces, serving with both the 5th Group and 7th Group. He deployed to Vietnam with 7th Group in January, 1964. Following Vietnam, he served on the staff and faculty of the Infantry School before returning to Vietnam in 1967, this time with A Company, 6/31 Infantry in the 9th Infantry Division. He later served on the 1st Brigade staff under Henry “Gunfighter” Emerson. After returning from Vietnam the second time, he served with 10th Group and 12th Group and was stationed in Bolivia and worked on the Cuban Refugee Task Force in 1980. In 1981, he retired from the military and attended the Dallas Theological Seminary and embarked on a career as a pastor. Since retiring from preaching, he has taught public school. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, his memories of growing up during World War II, and attending West Point. He describes his experiences in Korea and in Vietnam with both regular Army units and Special Forces. He reflects on some of the engagements he fought in. He discusses working with Cuban Refugees and becoming a preacher after leaving the Army and the rewards of seeing lives changed. Finally, he talks about what West Point and service means to him.


name Channing M. Greene
institution USMA
graduation year 1961
service Infantry / Special Forces
unit 1st SQDN, 4th CAV; 7th Group; 5th Group; A CO, 6th BN, 31st IN, 9th ID; 1st BDE, 9th ID; 10th Group, 12th Group
specialty Preacher
service dates 1961 1981