John N. Abrams

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John N. Abrams
John Abrams.JPG
Abrams as Training and Doctrine Command commander, circa 1998
Born(1946-09-03)September 3, 1946
Cumberland, Maine, United States
DiedAugust 20, 2018(2018-08-20) (aged 71)
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Washington, D.C., United States
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1966–2002
Commands heldTraining and Doctrine Command
V Corps
2nd Infantry Division
Joint Task Force Kuwait
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
Battles/warsVietnam War
Gulf War
Operation Joint Endeavor
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star Medal (4)
Purple Heart
Cecilia Bosico
m. 1969)
RelationsGeneral Creighton Abrams (father)
Brigadier General Creighton W. Abrams III (brother)
General Robert B. Abrams (brother)
Other workMilitary analyst, Associated Press

General John Nelson Abrams (September 3, 1946 – August 20, 2018) was a United States Army four-star general who commanded the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command from 1998 to 2002.

Early life and career[edit]

Abrams was born on September 3, 1946 in Cumberland, Maine,[1] the son of General Creighton Abrams. He graduated from Frankfurt American High School in 1964, and attended Bowling Green University before deciding to enlist in the United States Army.

Abrams enlisted in the United States Army on January 16, 1966 and after completion of his initial training he attended Officer Candidate School.[2] He graduated on February 3, 1967 with a commission as a second lieutenant of Armor.[3] Abrams was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood during its training prior to deploying to Vietnam.[3] His Vietnam War combat assignments with the squadron from 1967 to 1969 included platoon leader for B Troop, executive officer for A Troop, commander of A Troop, commander of C Troop, and commander of the squadron's Provisional Rifle Company.[3]


Abrams received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green University in 1972.[3]He received a Master of Science degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University in 1986 as part of his completion of the Army War College.[3] In 2002, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Military Education and Training from Norwich University in 2002.[4]

Continued career[edit]

Abrams' post-Vietnam assignments included instructor in Military Science at the United States Military Academy beginning in 1972.[5] In 1976, he graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. He commanded 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment from 1983 to 1985.[5] Abrams graduated from the United States Army War College in 1986, and then served as assistant chief staff for plans and operations G-3 for the 3rd Armored Division, followed by promotion to colonel and assignment as division chief staff from 1986 to 1988.[5] From 1988 to 1990, Abrams commanded the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.[5] From 1990 to 1991 he was deputy director for operations, readiness and modernization in the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief Staff for Operations and Plans.[5]

General officer[edit]

After promotion to brigadier general, Abrams served as assistant division commander for the 1st Cavalry Division from 1991 to 1993. From 1993 to 1995, he was commander of the 2nd Infantry Division as a major general.[5] Abrams was promoted to lieutenant general in 1995 and assigned as commander of V Corps, which included participation in Operation Joint Endeavor.[2]

He was deputy commander of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command from 1997 to 1998, and received promotion to general and assignment as TRADOC's commander in 1998.[5]He served until retiring in 2002.[5]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Abrams' awards and decorations included:[3][5]

United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png Army Staff Identification Badge
11CRDUI.png 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia[2]
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star with Valor Device and three oak leaf clusters
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal
Award numeral 2.png Air Medal with award numeral 2
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars
Silver star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with one silver and one bronze service star
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with 1 bronze service star
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 5.png Overseas Service Ribbon with Award numeral 5
NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
Award-star-silver-3d.pngBronze-star-device-3d.pngBronze-star-device-3d.png Vietnam Gallantry Cross with silver star and two bronze stars
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 5 GrVK Stern 218px.svg Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Knight Commander's Cross[5]
Gallantry Cross Unit Citation.png Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Ribbon
Civil Action Unit Citation.png Civil Actions Unit Citation Ribbon
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Post military[edit]

After retiring, Abrams became a military analyst for the Associated Press.[2] He was the President and Chief Executive Officer of John Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc., a consulting and technology firm.[4]

Abrams died at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on August 20, 2018.[3] He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[3]


Abrams was the son of Julia Berthe Harvey (1915–2003) and General Creighton W. Abrams Jr.[3] His brothers Creighton III and Robert were also army general officers.[3]

He married Cecilia Bosico in 1969.[6] They were the parents of two daughters, Noël, the wife of Nathan Naylor, and Elizabeth, the wife of Chris Bauernshub.[3]

Images gallery[edit]


  1. ^ "General Officer Announcement 334-98". U.S. Department of Defense. June 30, 1998.
  2. ^ a b c d "AP Signs Four-Star General for Military Expertise".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Obituary, John N. Abrams". Houston, TX: SCI Shared Resources, LLC. August 20, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  4. ^ a b ALIS Inc. Management Team Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Skelton, Ike (November 14, 2002). "Tribute to General John N. Abrams". Washington, DC: US House of Representatives.
  6. ^ Sorley, Lewis (1992). "Thunderbolt – From the Battle of the Bulge to Vietnam and Beyond: General Creighton Abrams and the Army of His Times". New York: Simon & Schuster: 294–295. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
Military offices
Preceded by
William W. Hartzog
Commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
Succeeded by
Kevin P. Byrnes