Covering over 156 square miles, Fort Knox is one of the largest military installations in the United States. Fort Knox is a United States Army facility located in northern Kentucky, covering three counties with a population of more than 12,000. Though officially under Army command, the United States Marine Corps shares sections of the base for training areas.
Fort Knox is well known within both military and civilian sectors for being the home of the United States Bullion Repository, the Army Human Resources Command and the Army Cadet Command. Within the military community, Fort Knox is recognized worldwide as the home of the M1 Abrams Tank crewman training program.
In addition to its military assets, Fort Knox is also home to the Patton Museum, one of the Army’s most popular attractions. The museum holds a collection of artifacts, documents and equipment dating back to World War I. Named for the world renowned United States Army General George S. Patton, the museum contains the largest collection in the world of items related to his historic career.
Fort Knox was first used as a military encampment in 1861, during the American Civil War. Following General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the area around Fort Knox was returned to the local community and quickly settled, though reserve soldiers continued to train and muster on the grounds. The base remained a low key facility until 1918 when it was decided to build a permanent military installation.
The new base was to be named Fort Knox, in honor of former Secretary of War, Henry Knox. Knox was a regarded as a hero of the Continental Army during his time in the Revolutionary War. Construction was not completed before the end of World War I, and as a result the government elected to scale back construction efforts at Fort Knox. The base fell into a permanent standby state and was used almost exclusively for training and muster exercises.
The outbreak of World War II saw a new round of planned expansion at Fort Knox, however it was not to last. In the decades following the close of World War II Fort Knox had actually lost almost a third of its personnel and units. This trend continued, and by 2010 the base had lost another third of its personnel, including the Armor Center, which was relocated to Fort Benning, Georgia. This move impacted the civilian community as well, cutting 500 jobs from the local economy. The base rebounded some with the addition of the Human Resources Command and its expansions, which brought in over 4,000 new personnel. The final phases of Fort Knox reorganization were completed in the fall of 2011.
Fort Knox also stands unique for being one of only three United States Army Bases large enough to maintain its own internal High School, which was built in 1958.
Fort Knox is home to 15 major permanent and tenant units, with many of them having smaller offshoot units. Among the most well known of Fort Knox resident units are the 16th Cavalry Regiment, 95th Training Division, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the 194th Armored Brigade.
Fort Knox offers a wide range of housing options for both enlisted and commissioned soldiers. The local community is very accepting of new arrivals and it is built around serving the military populous. The on post base housing office is also able to place incoming families looking to live on post and assist in finding off base housing.