.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Authority, leaders transfer

-A A +A

Identity change benefits Army

By The Staff

By LT. GEN. BENJAMIN FREAKLEY

Today’s Transfer of Authority ceremony marks a special and historic moment for Fort Knox, of which my wife Susan and I are honored to be a part. Fort Knox has officially transitioned from primarily a training installation (The Armor Center) to a multifunctional installation (The Human Resource Center of Excellence) with the Army Accessions Command as the senior command.

This transformation is a clear example that we are in the midst of Army’s largest, and most complex, Base Realignment and Closure actions. What this all amounts to is change.

To be clear, this isn’t change for the sake of change. Commands and organizations are coming to Fort Knox as part of an overall effort to position our Army, consolidate expertise in related fields, and enhance synergy and efficiencies while preparing for the future. Similarly, the armor mission is moving to Fort Benning, Ga., and linking with the infantry mission creating the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

Our changed identity encompasses unique and wide-ranging missions, but Fort Knox’s new slogan, “Strength Starts Here,” fittingly captures a common thread within each assigned organization and brings us together with a common purpose and a common sense of mission.

We meet the Army’s manpower and readiness requirements. We manage a Soldier’s career from the start. We train and prepare Soldiers for future operations. We provide Soldiers and Families with a first-rate quality of life. Strength, indeed, starts here—and what we do is integral to our Army’s overall efforts and meets the imperative to maintain the All Volunteer Force.

This afternoon we open the 883,000 square-foot Human Resource Center of Excellence. This complex, along with the new facilities of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division are the largest construction projects executed to accommodate the realignment. To give some perspective on the scope of the HRCoE project, it’s the largest Army construction project ever managed by the Louisville District - Corps of Engineers, whose area of responsibility spans five states.

What truly makes the opening of this exceptional complex so special is the memorialization of the building in Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude’s honor. Lt. Gen. Maude was serving as the Army deputy chief of staff for personnel when he was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. His well-known passion for the Army and love for Soldiers serves as one of his lasting legacies, and his distinguished lifetime of service, high moral character, and close relationship to the Human Resources Command clearly made him the ideal choice as the HRCoE namesake. The women and men who serve in the Lt. Gen. Maude complex will ensure that we strive to live up to his standard.

We are honored to join all who serve at Fort Knox and will do all we can to ensure that our Army remains ARMY STRONG!

Soon, the Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex will be fully occupied and the majority of Fort Knox’s realignment will have been completed.

This is the third installation I’ve had the pleasure of commanding. I will do my best to pick up where Maj. Gen. Mike Milano left off and will use my experience keep the Fort Knox community moving forward as well.

I realize that today is a significant day in armor and cavalry history, as well. While this storied branch is leaving its home of 70 years, it’s moving into new, tailor-made facilities at Fort Benning, which enables it to continue training and producing quality armor officers, armor crewman, and cavalry scouts. Having commanded Fort Benning, I can tell you that the area community there mirrors the patriotic and supportive citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well. Armor is in good hands.

This is an exciting time to be at Fort Knox. We’ve accomplished quite a transformation already. I simply ask for your continued commitment so we can finish this realignment the right way.

Army Strong!

Want to respond to this column or suggest a topic?

E-mail knox.commander forum@conus.army.mil.