Corporal Richard Green was born on 4 September 1986 in Reading. He attended Little Heath Secondary School, gaining a GNVQ (General National Vocational Qualification) in Leisure and Tourism before joining the Army on 4 August 2003 at the age of sixteen.
He attended Phase One training at the Army Training Regiment in Bassingbourn, before reporting to the Infantry Training Centre Catterick in January 2004 for his infantry specific training.
Corporal Green successfully completed a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer cadre within a year of arriving at 3 RIFLES and, a year after that, had completed the demanding Section Commanders’ Battle Course to qualify him for promotion to Corporal.
Corporal Green deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009 with 3 RIFLES Recce Platoon. Following five months of patrolling and operating in the town of Sangin, he was sent with his team to a patrol base to work alongside his Afghan National Army partners to bring stability and development to local Afghans.
He leaves behind his father Chris, his mother Eileen, and his brother and sister, Daniel and Charlotte.
Corporal Green’s family made the following statement:
Richard was a larger than life character who packed so much into his short life. In his own words he was the ‘Greenmeister’, a true legend. He wouldn’t want any of us mourning his death, rather he would want us all to celebrate his life. On his recent R&R Richard said ‘If anything happens to me know that I’ve lived life to the full, have no regrets, and love my job.’
We are so proud of him and will miss him more than words can ever say, but we do take comfort from the thought that, if there is a heaven, he is now having a laugh with his friends whose lives have been taken, just like his, over the past year.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer, 3 RIFLES Battle Group, said:
Corporal Richard Green was a man at the very top of his game. Having breezed through courses that test even the best of young Riflemen, he showed himself, at the age of 23, to be up to any challenge that the Army could throw at him.
Out here the Reconnaissance Platoon has constantly been in the thick of it. Corporal Green has never faltered nor taken a backward step, leading others selflessly, both by his example and his compelling personality.
In the field and on operations he has been in his element, setting the highest standards and excelling in every way.
The Battle Group has lost one of its most capable young commanders and his sudden absence leaves both a large gap and a heavier burden.
We shall continue his work with renewed vigour. Cut down by a gunman hiding in the shadows, Corporal Green died whilst standing firm and proud alongside the Afghan Warriors who are increasingly taking security responsibility from the British troops here.
Running a vehicle checkpoint as morning traffic headed into the vibrant bazaar, they were there for no other purpose than to give the locals of Sangin, and this region, a better future. Chosen for this mentoring role precisely because of his ability, maturity and breadth of vision, his enduring contribution in supporting and developing the local security forces cannot be overstated.
The thoughts and prayers of this entire Battle Group go out to Corporal Green’s family and loved ones. We know that they will remember him, as we do, with nothing but pride, drawing comfort and strength from his revered memory.
Major Mark Melhorn, Officer Commanding, Fire Support Company, 3 RIFLES Battle Group, said:
Corporal Richard Green was simply an outstanding Rifleman who was flying through the ranks and destined for the top. Anyone who can complete the demanding Section Commanders’ Battle Course within three years of joining the Army is exceptional, yet Corporal Green not only completed the course but was outstanding on it.
His appetite for soldiering was simply insatiable and he was determined to push himself at all times: he had already completed the tough Light Role Recce Commanders’ Course to qualify him for promotion to Serjeant and had attempted Special Forces selection once – coming off with an injury but the desire to go back and try again as soon as the tour was over.
In the high pressure environment that is Sangin, Corporal Green was in his element. He was tough as teak and an inspirational Section Commander mixing compassion for his subordinates with a ready supply of banter and a desire to take the fight to the enemy.
He really was Swift and Bold. Never afraid to stand up and be counted, his opinion was hugely valued and always grounded in reality apart from when talking about his beloved Spurs and how they would qualify for the Champions League this season.
The news is devastating for the whole of Fire Support Company but our pain can be nothing compared to that of his parents Eileen and Chris and siblings Dan and Charlotte. Rest in Peace ‘Greeny’ you will never be forgotten.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Kelly, Company Serjeant Major, B Company, 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:
I have known Corporal Green only since Recce Platoon were attached to the Company for the tour, his keenness and professionalism were there for everyone to see. He had aspirations to go all the way in the army and from what I saw in the short time that I knew him, nothing would have stood in his way.
“Not only a Recce NCO through and through he was a football nut, and this is where I take my fondest memory of him from. The banter that went on in the TV room was second to none, no one could have a pop at his beloved Spurs because he would defend them to the end, you would nearly miss the match itself listening to the to and fro of banter.
“His loss has hit Recce Platoon and the Company very hard, but it won’t compare to the pain his family and friends will be feeling at this devastating time. Our thoughts are with them all.”
Warrant Officer Class 2 Jason Longmate, Company Serjeant Major, Fire Support Company, 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:
I have had the pleasure to serve with Corporal Green for four years. He is a great character and will be missed in a very tight group. His men looked up to him and would follow him to hell and back because he is Greeny their section commander.
He epitomised the Recce Platoon Motto ‘We Lead You Follow’. He led by example and set high standards for his men and himself. He was full of life and would motivate them around him and infuse them with their own self belief.
There is a hole as big as a black hole left in Recce Platoon that will never be filled. My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this sad time.
Serjeant Lee Slater, Reconnaissance Platoon, 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:
Greeny you were a first class leader. You were afraid of nothing, always leading from the front. You were a true Recce soldier, your skills and Recce talents were second to none.
“We know the army and Recce were everything to you as you were everything to us. Not only a Section Commander you were a true friend to the lads and myself. I can’t imagine how lonely life is going to be without you. My thoughts are with your family and friends I know you loved them dearly.”
Corporal Cove, Reconnaissance Platoon, 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:
Greeny was one of my best friends not just in the Army but in civvy street too, he was by far one of the best soldiers I have ever seen and was the one who always set the standards high for Recce Platoon: ‘personal pride’ he always used to say.
Someone like Greeny is such a big loss to the Army. One thing I can honestly say is he lived his dream and died doing what he loved best. I will never forget you; you will be at the top of the Recce tree forever and always.
Rifleman Parkes, Reconnaissance Platoon, 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:
Greeny was one of my best mates in Recce Platoon. Always full of jokes and banter, there was never a dull moment when Greeny was around, one of the strongest persons in the Platoon, someone to look up to.
He was the best of his game. Greeny will never be forgotten and the Platoon will never be the same. Rest mate, miss you.
Rifleman Humphery-Lomberg, Reconnaissance Platoon, 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:
Greeny, I’ve truly enjoyed the time I’ve known you, always there to help and give advice on anything you could. Recon Baby always remember the good times mate. New Year’s eve 08-09 and the plans we had when we got back. I’ll miss you mate. Freddie.
Rifleman McKie, Reconnaissance Platoon, 3 RIFLES Battle Group said:
Richard Green was an impressive young man. At 23 he was a Section Commander, had passed the arduous Section Commanders and Recce Section courses.
He was good and he knew it but at the same time he bore no sense of self importance, nor a shred of arrogance. He was a down to earth guy with a slightly twisted sense of humour.
On the battlefield he demanded respect and wouldn’t hesitate to punish slackness at the same time he would reward the hard working soldiers. His passion for soldering was only matched by his other passions, his friends, music and Football. He was a staunch supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.
I am proud to have been able to call this man my friend. My life will never be the same knowing that he is no longer with us. Onward RPG, go easy brother.
Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:
I was saddened to hear of the loss of Corporal Richard Green. He was clearly in his element in the Army, with a gift for leadership, and was destined to rise quickly through the ranks.
“My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time for them.”