Gen. John N. Abrams

September 3, 1946August 20, 2018
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General (Retired) John N. Abrams passed away at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on August 20th at the age of 71. General Abrams dedicated his life to his family, faith, and service through more than 36 years in the United States Army. His life was one of service, courage, generosity, and graciousness.

General Abrams enlisted on January 16, 1966 and was commissioned through Armor OCS on February 3, 1967 through Company F-2. He immediately joined 2d Squadron - 1st Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood for its pre-deployment training. His combat assignments with the Squadron from 1967-1969 in the Republic of Vietnam included service as the 3d Platoon Leader for B Troop, the XO for A Troop, and commanding A Troop, C Troop, and the Squadron’s Provisional Rifle Company (Blues).

His assignments, responsibilities and experiences include serving the United States Department of Defense and the United States Army spanning more than 36 years of service with fourteen years of service in operational assignments with US allies in Vietnam, Germany, Hungary, Bosnia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. General Abrams served as a national military strategist for the Department of the Army with strategic planning responsibility for the US commitment to the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia regions. Additionally, he was the Department of the Army’s mobilization lead to design, develop, and facilitate interagency coordination and authorization to mobilize over 300,000 soldiers and units for Army Reserve and National Guard forces to meet the requirements for CINC Central Command for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. General Abrams was assigned to the United States Army’s Training and Doctrine Command where he served more than five years to transform the United States Army to meet the changing needs for military forces and capabilities in support of the national military strategy.

General Abrams led the Army’s transformation with a strategy to design and develop integrated solutions tailored to human and organizational absorption factors that include: doctrine; organizational design; leader and soldier knowledge and skills development; technology integration based on operational requirements; training strategies and capabilities to meet individual and unit readiness needs for employment to assigned roles and missions; infrastructure and facilities to support and sustain readiness needs prior to deployment and support operational requirements when operating in forward operational areas.

In August 2004, General Abrams founded Abrams Learning and Information Systems Inc. with a clear purpose and vision to provide government and commercial clients organizational effectiveness improvement solutions through business engineering and workforce development. General Abrams also proudly served as the Vice Chairman and Lead Independent Director for the Armed Forces Benefit Association Board.

General Abrams received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bowling Green University, and holds a Master of Science in Public Administration from Shippensburg University. His decorations include Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Silver Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device, Bronze Star Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medals, Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and Army Staff Identification Badge. He was inducted into the Officer Candidate Hall of Fame in 2001. General Abrams was the recipient of the first Honorary ROCK of the Year Annual Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in 2001.

In his personal life, General Abrams was an avid skier and cyclist. He was a proud member of the Bryce Resort community as well as serving as the President of the Board. He was an active member in the Catholic Church, serving as a Eucharistic Minister for five years and on the committee that began the first Eucharistic Adoration program at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia. General Abrams was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He enjoyed teaching the grandchildren how to ski, fish, kayak, lake swim, and even zip line. He genuinely cared for the people in his life – soldiers, colleagues, family members, community members, and friends. He was known for having a kind and generous heart, and believing the best in all of those around him.

General Abrams is survived by his wife, Cecelia R. Bosico; his two daughters, Noël Naylor and Elizabeth Bauernshub; two sons-in-law, Nathan Naylor and Chris Bauernshub; five grandchildren, Natalie, Katelyn, Nathaniel, Brayden, and Brooke; his five siblings, Noël Bradley, Creighton Abrams III (GEN, Ret), Jeanne Daly, Elizabeth Doyle, and Robert Abrams (GEN); and his beloved dog.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of General Abrams to the Army Emergency Relief ( or Patriot Paws Service Dogs (

The family would like to express their appreciation to the outstanding team of nurses, doctors, staff, and technicians at Walter Reed in the Neurology, Radiology, Oncology, Internal Medicine, and the Emergency Room departments. As well as a special thank you to the team at 4 West who cared for General Abrams several times over the last few months as well as during his final days. The team on 4 West became more like family to the Abrams and the care General Abrams was provided was “Second to None.”


  • Army Emergency Relief
  • Patriot PAWS Service Dogs


2 April

Committal Service

10:30 am - 2:00 pm

Arlington National Cemetery

1 Memorial Drive
Arlington, VA 22211


  • Visitation Thursday, September 6, 2018

Gen. John N. Abrams

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Bill Grimsley

November 3, 2018

First met 1 st. Lt. John Abrams when I volunteered to run load for headquarters company of ammo from Pleiku to Kontum early Feb. 1968. Upon my very lucky arrival, truck in convoy behind me blown up and A troop almost out of ammo, Lt. Abrams expressed his thanks as did most of the troop members. Two weeks later I was reassigned to be his APC gunner. I spent the rest of 68 under the command of Lt. John Abrams, Capt. John Kelse, and Top Sgt. Kurabeski who are pictured here. My heartfelt sympathy to his family and all those who loved him. My deepest regrets for not having kept in touch with him over the years. Looking thru old photos the other day I decided to see where he was currently stationed and thought I would visit. That day will still come although I know not when.
Sgt. E-5 William R. Grimsley Jr.

Thomas Tallagua

October 30, 2018

I was a very young soldier stationed in Camp Red Cloud, Korea when I met this great General! I was fortunate to have been assigned as his driver for a short while. I had great respect for General Abrams and even though I was just a young PFC, General Abrams was a humble man and a one of a kind leader.

To the family of General Abrams I can truly say he touched many lives and you are blessed to call him husband, brother, dad, uncle, and grandfather. I have no doubt General Abrams is watching from heaven. May he continue to shine in your lives and hearts.

With deepest sympathy and true respect...
Spc. Thomas Tallagua

David Kaucheck MG(R)

September 8, 2018

The toughest yet fairest CDR I ever had the honor to serve with and for

Bill Greene

September 6, 2018

Madeline and I extend our deepest sympathies to Ceil and all of the Abrams family. Bill first met John at the Pre-Command Course at Fort Leavenworth as John was assuming squadron command. A few years later, they ended up as tablemates as students at the Army War College. It was a great year that established a lasting friendship between the Greenes and Abrams.
We Cherish the opportunity to have known John and applaud his exceptional service to our Country. His acts of Kindness and respect for others are virtues he leaves us follow. We thank the family for sharing this Great American with all of us and know that his Spirit will be with us eternally. May God give the family Comfort.
With Prayers and Thoughts, Bill and Madeline Greene.


September 3, 2018

General Abrams was an honorable, straight forward man both in his military life and business. He is respected and remembered by all who knew him. It was obvious how much he loved God and his family.

On one of his trips to Austin, I stopped to pick up coffee at a trendy coffee shop on my way to pick him up. He liked a good cup of coffee in the morning to start his day. The morning had started well, until he took a sip of his coffee and looked at me. I took a sip of mine, looked at him and said, "It isn't very good is it".
He laughed and agreed and we went to work to get a much better cup of the morning brew.

With deepest sympathies,


Oliver Bell

September 3, 2018

I had the privilege of serving with, then, LTC Abrams in Germany. He was commander of 1st Squadron 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. I was on the Regimental staff and would later command a troop in a third squadron. While I was at the armor school, I would return to Germany - at Gen Abrams request - to help establish a mini-scout platoon leader's course for the Regiment. I would avidly follow his career, after I left service, admiring his continued success.

We would reconnect by accident via Leo Rios when I was touring the Texas Border Operations Center. I smiled and commented that the center looked liked an old Blackhorse Operation... someone asked - "What do you know about the Blackhorse?" (that would be Leo)… I would then find out that Abrams Learning was leading the charge in that area and rekindle my friendship with Gen. Abrams.

There was none finer. He had few peers. I am grateful for his acquaintance and the things he taught me. Thank you for sharing him with me and the rest of the Army community. I am a better person for having met and worked with him.

George Harmeyer

August 22, 2018

Ceil & Family,
Phyllis and I offer our sincere condolences. I met John in Viet Nam January 1968. We were friends, colleagues, fellow Cavalrymen, and he was my Boss twice. It is with deepest respect that I offer prayers for John and the entire Abrams Family. I know we will meet again in Fiddler’s Green!