The 2010 General Creighton W. Abrams Medal for exceptional service to the United States Army was awarded to Major General Carl H. McNair, Jr., United States Army, Retired, for his outstanding service to America’s Army.
A 1955 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, General McNair also earned degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Public Administration. He served as an infantry company commander in the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea and later commanded aviation units in Vietnam. He commanded the Aviation Brigade at Fort Rucker, Alabama, from 1974 to 1975 and was commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center from 1980 to 1983, as the first chief of the Army Aviation Branch. His visionary leadership positively affected the role of Army Aviation into the 21st century. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with V Device with Oak Leaf Cluster, and numerous Air Medals. He has also earned the Parachutist and Master Army Aviator badges, as well as the Ranger Tab.
For the past 30 years, Major General McNair has been an influential leader for the Association of the United States Army in the National Capitol Region as President of the George Washington Chapter and as President of the AUSA Second Region. He continued his service on the Advisory Board of Directors and then as Chairman of the Association’s Finance Committee.Under his guidance, the chapter and region initiated events and activities that focused on Soldiers and Families. The DC National Guard children’s annual Christmas party, the George Washington Birthday Party, and continuing support to our Wounded Warriors are just a few examples of General McNair’s devotion.
The Army Ten-Miler, one of AUSA’s most recognized events, is one example of General McNair’s many leadership accomplishments. When the race began 25 years ago, he marshaled the George Washington Chapter to host the race; throughout the years, he has helped it become one of the largest 10-mile races in the world.
General McNair is dedicated to supporting the Arlington Ladies, an organization that offers solace to Army families. Under his guidance, the chapter established a support fund which to this day helps defray their annual expenses.
General McNair has made substantial contributions to our community. Perhaps his most unheralded accomplishment was raising more than $500,000 to establish the program that developed “Where Valor Rests,” the book honoring our fallen comrades buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This memento is presented to the family of each Soldier killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom interred at the cemetery to keep in remembrance of their loved one. He has also taken an active role in supporting the National Army Museum project at Fort Belvoir, and in that role he has been instrumental in raising contributions of $50,000.
In recognition of his exceptional service as patriot, Soldier and American, the Association of the United States Army proudly presented the General Creighton W. Abrams Medal to Major General Carl H. McNair, Jr., on the twenty-fifth day of October, two thousand ten.