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Authority, leaders transfer

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Armor history safe, future bright

By The Staff

By MAJ. GEN. JAMES MILANO

Memorial Day is a time for all Americans to remember and honor the U.S. troops who sacrificed for our nation.

For Soldiers, it should serve as a poignant moment to appreciate those who came before us and reflect upon our own service.

For Armor and Cavalry Soldiers, specifically, this Memorial Day weekend should take on an additional meaning with the casing of the Armor Center colors on Fort Knox today.

After 70 years at Fort Knox, the Armor Center officially ends its tenure during the Transfer of Authority ceremony this morning. The Army Accessions Command, led by Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, becomes this installation’s senior command.

BRAC is in full force. The Armor and Infantry Centers are integrating at Fort Benning, Ga., into the Maneuver Center of Excellence, and the Armor School is relocating to the Georgia post as well.

In spite of these changes, no one can erase the armor history that’s been made here. And have no doubt, armor’s future remains bright.

I’m proud, honored, and humbled to have led Fort Knox and served as the 44th Armor Center Chief since arriving in August. My next assignment takes me to Fort Jackson, S.C., where I will command the Basic Combat Training Center of Excellence and once again lead an installation. Though our stay here has been brief, Kim and I will miss the Bluegrass state and the people we’ve met along the way.

I thank especially the Fort Knox Garrison, surrounding communities, leaders, and businesses for their unwavering commitment to supporting Soldiers and Families. It’s because of this support that Fort Knox is such a desirable place to live and serve. Since we will still have a contingent of Armor School Soldiers and Families here through September 2011, I ask everyone to continue making them a part of the community.

Lt. Gen. Freakley, who’s no stranger to commanding installations, will be a great leader for Fort Knox, and anyone who’s spent five minutes with him can tell you that he is passionate about Fort Knox and about leadership. Kim and I wish Lt. Gen. Freakley and his wife, Susan, all the best here. We know they’ll love the post and community.

As the Human Resource Center of Excellence develops into the synchronized command it was intended to be, Fort Knox will thrive with a new mission.

And so another chapter in armor and cavalry history has been written. How appropriate that this occasion occurs on the cusp of Memorial Day. As we pay respect to our nation’s protectors of freedom, we bid farewell to the longtime home of Armor and Cavalry.

Forge the Thunderbolt!

Want to respond to this column or suggest a topic? E-mail knox.commanderforum@conus.army.mil.