D.C. Guard Commander on 9/11 Dies at Home

(May 21, 2014 ) Services are pending for the man who commanded the District of Columbia National Guard when a commercial airliner flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Retired Maj. Gen. Warren L. Freeman died at his home in Maryland Saturday. He was 66. Freeman served as commanding general of the D.C. Guard from 1995 to 2002.

Born in Jackson, Ga., and 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 who, after serving more than two years, moved on to a commission as a second lieutenant from Officers Candidate School in July 1969. 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. His military experience includes service as a platoon leader, tactical officer, a variety of staff and operations officer positions, and several command billets before assuming his role as the commanding general.

Freeman was appointed to the Reserve Forces Policy Board in 1997 while simultaneously serving as commanding general. The board serves as the principal policy advisor to the defense secretary on reserve component matters.

Freeman was a colonel in the D.C. Army Guard when he was appointed commanding general by President Bill Clinton. After retiring from the Guard, he served from 2003 to 2012 as commandant of the Forestville Military Academy, the first public military school in Maryland.

The general 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.

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, Inc., Tuskegee Airmen Association and Buffalo Soldiers Association. He lived in Gambrills, Md., with his wife, Barbara Ann Lynch-Freeman.