Armor plans its farewell to Kentucky

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Guest column by Lt. Col. Antonio D. Austin

I invite everyone to attend and be a part of a truly historic occasion at Fort Knox on June 10. At 9 a.m. on Brooks Parade Field, the U.S. Army Armor School will perform a colors casing ceremony in which its subordinate units, the 194th Armored Brigade and 316th Cavalry Brigade, will roll up their flags, effectively marking the end of Armor’s chapter at Fort Knox.

Armor and Cavalry have long and storied ties to Fort Knox, dating back to January 1932 with the arrival of a newly formed mechanized cavalry unit. And in October 1940, the Armor School was established at Fort Knox.

Through these decades, the Armor branch continually evolved — be it through equipment, training, doctrine or leadership — keeping its edge as the Combat Arm of Decision.

This ceremony in large part serves to celebrate this history of evolution. It’s important for the Armor branch to remember the traditions and legacies created at Fort Knox as it will serve as a guiding force for the Armor branch in its next evolution at Fort Benning, Ga.

We recognize this change affects not only those in the Armor community, but also those in the surrounding community. No longer will people here see brand-new Armor lieutenants or privates roaming the towns with their families, having just graduated from training at Fort Knox. However, thousands of soldiers still will be out in the community, especially when the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division returns from deployment. And rest assured, armor or not, Fort Knox remains just as committed to being a good neighbor and maintaining and growing strong community relationships.

Before the Armor School departs in total, we render a proud salute to the Commonwealth for the unwavering patriotism and support shown to our troops over the last 71 years. We look forward to writing our next Armor chapter at Fort Benning, but we will no doubt miss our longtime home and will be forever grateful to Kentucky and its great people.

Again, we hope you will make it out to our colors casing ceremony Friday. Thank you.

Army strong!

Lt. Col. Antonio D. Austin is rear detachment commander for the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence.