Speaking about his experience at Le Golf National, Harrington said: "You are always learning and it was a nice balanced vice-captaincy with different personalities; some good emotions, some good thinkers".
A victor in four of his six Ryder Cup appearances as a player, Harrington was also a vice-captain in 2014 and 2016 under Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke.
He has learnt from some of the great European captains and golfing figures - Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Paul McGinley - and said he will take little bits from each in a bid to maintain Europe's dominance in the event.
"The back-room team was ideal and I thought the vice-captains had a great mix", he said. You could look at this as being a natural progression, a move on from player to vice-captain to captain but it's not something that I take on without a certain amount of trepidation.
"I know they want continuity", Harrington said, referring to Europe's top players, "and it is a very important thing".
The three-time major victor is the clear favourite to succeed Thomas Bjorn at Whistling Straits, where Europe will be bidding to defend the trophy won in Paris previous year.
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Harrington would go on to repay the faith his former team mate showed in him by registering two valuable points which helped ensure that Europe won by the narrowest of margins - a memorable 14 ½ to 13 ½ triumph. His actions are all about the Ryder Cup.
He was the first American to top the official world golf rankings in 1992 and was a two-time victor of the Ryder Cup as a player; featuring as a vice-captain in the 2012 edition took his total involvements to six.
"You can't do everything as a captain, your very much defined by the quality of your vice-captains and you have to rely on them a lot".
Harrington qualified for a fourth straight Ryder Cup in 2006, which was held in his home country, Ireland. "I don't think I ever thought I wasn't going to do it, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons". "I seem to be the right time and place for me in my career and in the Ryder Cup profile of other players and whose turn it is, but just because it seems like it is my turn it's not something I walked in to and said yeah it's my turn I should do it".
"Steve's a solid bloke", Harrington had said in October.
"And having been a vice-captain three times, I realise how much work is behind the scenes in being a captain". He's a good guy, well respected, and he's already enjoyed success as a team captain in the Presidents Cup.
"Padraig is playing the best golf of my team out there", Montgomerie told reporters during the first official practice day at Celtic Manor Resort.