Maj. Gen. Carl H. McNair Jr., USA, Ret., will receive the Gen. Creighton W. Abrams Medal for outstanding service to America’s Army at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.
An inductee in the Army Aviation Hall of Fame, McNair spent four decades serving to enhance the posture of Army aviation on the battlefield. He became the first chief of the Army Aviation Branch when it was established on April 12, 1983.
Prior to that, he was commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center from 1980 to 1983, and commanded the Aviation Brigade at Fort Rucker, Ala., from 1974 to 1975.
McNair accumulated more than 4,000 flying hours with 1,500 of those in combat.
For the past 30 years, he has been a leader for AUSA as president of the George Washington Chapter, president of the Second Region, and an ex-officio member of the Association’s Council of Trustees.
He also served on the Association’s Advisory Board of Trustees and chaired the Finance Committee.
Under his guidance, events activities were initiated to focus on soldiers and families, such as the D.C. National Guard children’s annual Christmas party, the George Washington birthday celebration, and continuing projects supporting Wounded Warriors.
McNair marshaled the George Washington Chapter to sponsor the first Army Ten-Miler race. He also established the chapter’s support fund for the Arlington Ladies, a group who attends every Army funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
McNair’s most unheralded accomplishment was raising more than $500,000 to establish the program that developed, "Where Valor Rests," a book honoring those buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The memento is presented to the family of each soldier killed in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom who is interred at Arlington.
He has supported the National Army Museum to be built at Fort Belvoir, Va., and has been instrumental in raising contributions for the project.
AUSA will present the Abrams Medal to McNair on Oct. 25 during the meeting’s opening ceremony.