General Harold Read started his military career in 1942 as a member of the Rhode Island State Guard. He was inducted into federal service during World War II and served in the European Theater as a member of the IX Troop Carrier Command, First Allied Airborne Army. He participated in the airborne invasions of Normandy, Southern France, and The Netherlands. He rose through the enlisted ranks, and in September, 1945 he was selected to serve as a member of A Company, 503d Military Police Battalion, the guard company for General George C. Patton. Next Harold was appointed adjutant of that battalion and promoted to first lieutenant.
General Read was released from active duty in May, 1946 and assigned to the US Army Reserve. He became a member of the Rhode Island National Guard in October, 1947 and was recalled to active duty during the Vietnam War. He served with the 43rd Infantry Division as division artillery officer with the rank of captain. He later served in the 103rd Field Artillery; the 43rd Division Artillery, and the XLIII Corps Artillery. Rising through the chain of command, Harold became general of the 43rd Military Police Brigade, assistant division commander of the 76th Infantry Division, and commanding general 94th Army Support Command. He retired from the United States Army in March, 1979.
General Read has held many positions of civic leadership including that of past president of The Squantum Association, chairman of the British-American Sub-Committee of the Rhode Island Heritage Commission, past president of the Armed Forces Civilian Council for Rhode Island, and commander of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery.
Harold and Winifred Read have been married fifty-nine years and have three children.