By CATRINA FRANCIS
Gold Standard Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday marked Garrison Command’s second town hall since Aug. 8 when Col. T.J. Edwards took the reins as its commander.
Edwards said Tuesday’s town hall at Waybur Theater was for the employees.
“We really care about you,” he said. “I feel blessed to work with such great people.”
He also pointed out that five years ago to the day Fort Knox and the surrounding communities experienced an ice storm. Some things on the installation such as Net Zero generators are the result of lessons learned.
Although Edwards admitted to not having all of the answers, he believes garrison employees are the best at what they do.
“I would put Fort Knox against any installation in the Army,” said Edwards.
The town hall was also about explaining some of the changes that will occur this summer and coming years. One change, he said, will be the total number of the workforce and supported mission.
“We are going to continue having an important mission and continue great service,” Edwards said.
Even though the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division will be inactivating as part of the Army reducing its number of BCTs, Fort Knox will gain the 541st Sapper Company, joining the 19th Engineer Battalion. When that happens, the 19th Eng. Bn., will be the largest engineer battalion in the Army.
There will also be an influx of cadets to Fort Knox during the summer due to Leadership Development Assessment Course moving to Fort Knox. Cadet Initial Entry Training will also be conducted this summer on the installation.
Edwards said having the cadets on post will be a summer surge mission.
Another possible gain is the pending approval to move the Recruiting and Retention School from Fort Jackson, S.C., to Fort Knox.
Although there have been cuts, Emmet Holley, the garrison manager, thanked the employees for showing dedication to the mission.
“We couldn’t manage this post … (or have it be a) premier installation without what (you) do every day,” explained Holley. “I consider it a privilege to come to work every day … lead this garrison.”
Garrison directorates also had an opportunity to recognize an outstanding employee and nine contractors received certificates of appreciation for their work setting up the Christmas cards on Brooks Field during the holidays.
The town hall concluded with questions and answers, and Command Sgt. Major Marcus Robinson, the garrison command sergeant major, reminded the crowd about the increased number of cadets coming to Fort Knox.
Robinson said this summer about 12,000 cadets will train on Knox and, “I’m asking (you) for assistance in a lot of areas. Please help them out. Point (them) in the right direction (and) make sure they have (their) uniforms on the right way.”