Retired Maj. Gen. Warren L. Freeman, a former commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, died at his Maryland home May 17. He was 66.

Freeman was born Aug. 20, 1947, in Jackson, Ga., but was raised in the Washington, D.C. area.

The general’s military career spanned three decades — with a majority of it in the service of the D.C. Guard. That career began as an enlisted soldier in 1966. After two years he moved on to a commission as a second lieutenant from Officers Candidate School in July 1969, at which time he was awarded the Erickson Trophy for Distinguished Graduate of his class.

Following commissioning, he attended basic courses in both infantry and military police schools. From then on, he served in a number of different roles such as platoon leader, tactical officer and a variety of staff and operations officer positions.

He was appointed Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard in December 1995 by President Bill Clinton, where he served until he retired on Dec. 31, 2002. Notably during that tenure,

Freeman was in command during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon, which sent D.C. Air National Guard F-16 fighters from the 113th Wing scrambling moments after the Pentagon was hit by a commercial jet liner. D.C Army Guard helicopters also took flight to assist first responders with medical support at the Pentagon.

During that time, Freeman was also appointed to the Reserve Forces Policy Board, which serves as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on reserve component matters.

After retiring from the Guard, Freeman served from 2003 to 2012 as commandant of the Forestville Military Academy, the first public military school in Maryland.

Maj. Gen. Freeman has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pacific-Western University, a master’s in management from National-Louis University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from National-Louis University in 1997. General Freeman is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and completed Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.

Freeman’s military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

Freeman served on the board of directors for the Boy Scouts of America and the Black United Fund. He was a member of the U.S. Army War College Alumni Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Tuskegee Airmen, Association and Buffalo Soldiers Association. He lived in Gambrills, Md., with his wife, Barbara Ann Lynch-Freeman.

Services are pending.

According to the website of the Wiseman Funeral Home in Clinton, Md., the Freeman family has requested that In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to:

DeCesaris Cancer Institution of Anne Arundel Medical Center
2001 Medical Parkway
SAJAK Pavillion #550
Annapolis, MD 21401

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO