Fort Knox
Location of Fort Knox in Kentucky
Coordinates37°55′N 85°58′W / 37.92°N 85.96°W / 37.92; -85.96
TypeMilitary base
Site information
Controlled by
  • 1861–1865: Contested
  • 1865–present: United States
Site history
In use
  • 1861–1865: Civil War
  • 1865–1903: Settlement
  • 1903–1918: Training grounds
  • 1918–1925: Camp Knox
  • 1925–1928: National Forest
  • 1928–1931: Camp Knox
  • 1932–present: Fort Knox
Garrison information
COL Lance O'Bryan[1]

Fort Knox is a United States Army installation in Kentucky, south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. It is adjacent to the United States Bullion Depository (also known as Fort Knox), which is used to house a large portion of the United States' official gold reserves, and with which it is often conflated. The 109,000-acre (170 sq mi; 440 km2)[2] base covers parts of Bullitt, Hardin and Meade counties. It currently holds the Army Human Resources Center of Excellence, including the Army Human Resources Command. It is named in honor of Henry Knox, Chief of Artillery in the American Revolutionary War and the first United States Secretary of War.

For 60 years, Fort Knox was the home of the U.S. Army Armor Center and School, and was used by both the Army and the Marine Corps to train crews on the American tanks of the day; the last was the M1 Abrams main battle tank. The history of the U.S. Army's Cavalry and Armored forces, and of General George S. Patton's career, is shown at the General George Patton Museum[3] on the grounds of Fort Knox.

In 2011, the U.S. Army Armor School moved to Fort Moore, Georgia, where the Infantry School is also based.[4] In 2014, the U.S. Army Cadet Command relocated to Fort Knox and all summer training for ROTC cadets now takes place there.[5]

On 16 October 2020, V Corps was reactivated at Fort Knox, just over seven years after the colors were last cased in Wiesbaden, Germany, in July 2013.[6]

Bullion depository

Aerial view of the Bullion Depository. Godman Army Airfield can be seen in the background.

The United States Bullion Depository, often known as Fort Knox, is a fortified vault building adjacent to the Fort Knox Army Post. It is operated by the United States Department of the Treasury, and stores over half the country's gold reserves. It is protected by the United States Mint Police, and is well known for its physical security.

The depository was built by the Treasury in 1936 on land transferred to it from Fort Knox.[7] Early shipments of gold totaling almost 13,000 metric tons[8] were escorted by combat cars of the 1st U.S. Cavalry Regiment to the depository.[9] It has in the past safeguarded other precious items, such as the original copies of both the Constitution of the United States and the United States Declaration of Independence.[10]

Census-designated place

Parts of the base in Hardin and Meade counties form a census-designated place (CDP), which had a population of 12,377 at the 2000 census, 10,124 at the 2010 census, and 7,742 at the 2020 census.[11]

Patton Museum

The General George Patton Museum of Leadership at Fort Knox includes an exhibit highlighting leadership issues that arose from the attacks of 11 September 2001, which includes two firetrucks. One of them, designated Foam 161, was partially charred and melted in the attack upon the Pentagon. Fort Knox is also the location of the United States Army's Human Resources Command's Timothy Maude Center of Excellence, which was named in honor of Lieutenant General Timothy Maude, the highest-ranking member of the U.S. military to die in the attacks of 11 September 2001.[12]



Fortifications were constructed near the site in 1861, during the Civil War when Fort Duffield was constructed. Fort Duffield was located on what was known as Muldraugh Hill on a strategic point overlooking the confluence of the Salt and Ohio Rivers and the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike. The area was contested by both Union and Confederate forces. Bands of organized guerrillas frequently raided the area during the war. John Hunt Morgan[13] and the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry Regiment of the Confederate Army raided the area before staging his infamous raid across Indiana and Ohio.[14]

Post Civil War

After the Civil War, the area now occupied by the Army was home to various small communities. In October 1903, military maneuvers for the Regular Army and the National Guards of several states were held at West Point, Kentucky, and the surrounding area.[15] In April 1918, field artillery units from Camp Zachary Taylor arrived at West Point for training. 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) near the village of Stithton were leased to the government and construction for a permanent training center was started in July 1918.

New camp

The new camp was named after Henry Knox, the Continental Army's chief of artillery during the Revolutionary War and the country's first Secretary of War. The camp was extended by the purchase of a further 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) in June 1918 and construction properly began in July 1918. The building program was reduced following the end of the war and reduced further following cuts to the army in 1921 after the National Defense Act of 1920. The camp was greatly reduced and became a semi-permanent training center for the 5th Corps Area for Reserve Officer training, the National Guard, and Citizen's Military Training Camps (CMTC). For a short while, from 1925 to 1928, the area was designated as "Camp Henry Knox National Forest."[16]

Air Corps use

The post contains Godman Army Airfield, which was used by the United States Army Air Corps and its successor, the United States Army Air Forces, as a training base during World War II. It was used by the Kentucky Air National Guard for several years after the war until they relocated to Standiford Field in Louisville. The airfield is still used by the United States Army Aviation Branch.

Protection of America's founding documents

A tank driver at Fort Knox in 1942

For protection after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address were moved for safekeeping to the United States Bullion Depository until Major W. C. Hatfield ordered their release after the D-Day Landings on 19 September 1944.[17]

Mechanized military unit occupation

Infantryman wearing Brodie helmet, kneeling in front of M3 Half-track, holds an M1 Garand rifle. Fort Knox, June 1942

In 1931 a small force of the mechanized cavalry was assigned to Camp Knox to use it as a training site. The camp was turned into a permanent garrison in January 1932 and renamed Fort Knox. The 1st Cavalry Regiment arrived later in the month to become the 1st Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized).

In 1936 the 1st was joined by the 13th to become the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized). The site quickly became the center for mechanization tactics and doctrine. The success of the German mechanized units at the start of World War II was a major impetus to operations at the fort. A new Armored Force was established in July 1940 with its headquarters at Fort Knox with the 7th Cavalry Brigade becoming the 1st Armored Division. The Armored Force School and the Armored Force Replacement Center were also sited at Fort Knox in October 1940, and their successors remained there until 2011, when the Armor School moved to Fort Moore, Georgia (Fort Benning at the time). The site was expanded to cope with its new role. By 1943, there were 3,820 buildings on 106,861 acres (43,245 ha). A third of the post has been torn down within the last ten years,[when?] with another third slated by 2010.

1947 Universal Military Training Experimental Unit

In 1947, Fort Knox hosted the Universal Military Training Experimental Unit, a six-month project that aimed to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of providing new 18-20 year-old Army recruits with basic military training that emphasized physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This project was undertaken with the aim of persuading the public to support President Harry S. Truman's proposal to require all eligible American men to undergo universal military training.[18][19]

Stripes (1981) was filmed using the exterior of Fort Knox but did not show the inside of the facility for security reasons.[20]

1993 shooting

On 18 October 1993, Arthur Hill went on a shooting rampage, killing three and wounding two more before attempting to take his own life, Hill shot and severely wounded himself. The shooting occurred at Fort Knox's Training Support Center. Prior to the incident, Hill's coworkers claimed they were afraid of being around a mentally unstable person who was at work. Hill died on 21 October of complications from his attempted suicide.[21][22][23][24]

2013 shooting

On 3 April 2013, a civilian employee was shot and killed in a parking lot on post. The victim was an employee of the United States Army Human Resources Command and was transported to the Ireland Army Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. This shooting caused a temporary lockdown that was lifted around 7 p.m. the same day.[25][26] U.S. Army Sgt. Marquinta E. Jacobs, a soldier stationed at Fort Knox, was charged on 4 April with the shooting.[27] Jacobs pleaded guilty to charges of premeditated murder and aggravated assault, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison on 10 January 2014.

Human Resources Command

Main article: United States Army Human Resources Command

The Army Human Resources Command Center relocated to Fort Knox from the Washington D.C./Virginia area beginning in 2009. New facilities are under construction throughout Fort Knox, such as the new Army Human Resource Center, the largest construction project in Fort Knox's history. It is a $185 million, three-story, 880,000-square-foot (82,000 m2) complex of six interconnected buildings, occupying 104 acres (42 ha).

In May 2010, The Human Resource Center of Excellence, the largest office building in the state, opened at Fort Knox. It employs nearly 4,300 soldiers and civilians.[28]


The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) operates on-post public schools for all sections of the property.[29][30][31] They are:[32]

The secondary school, formerly Fort Knox High School, was built in 1958 and has undergone only a handful of renovations since then, including a new building which was completed in 2007.[citation needed]

Units and Tenant Agencies






Fort Knox is located at 37°54'09.96" North, 85°57'09.11" West, along the Ohio River. The depository itself is located at 37°52'59.59" North, 85°57'55.31" West.

According to the Census Bureau, the base CDP has a total area of 20.94 square miles (54.23 km2), of which 20.92 sq mi (54.18 km2) is land and 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)—0.14%—is water.[55] Communities near Fort Knox include Brandenburg, Elizabethtown, Hodgenville, Louisville, Radcliff, Shepherdsville, and Vine Grove, Kentucky.[56] The Meade County city of Muldraugh is completely surrounded by Fort Knox.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Fort Knox has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[57]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[58]

As of the census[59] of 2000, there were 12,377 people, 2,748 households, and 2,596 families residing on base. The population density was 591.7 inhabitants per square mile (228.5/km2). There were 3,015 housing units at an average density of 144.1/sq mi (55.6/km2). The racial makeup of the base was 66.3% White, 23.1% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 4.3% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 10.4% of the population.

There were 2,748 households, out of which 77.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 86.0% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 5.5% were non-families. 4.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 0.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.49 and the average family size was 3.60.

The age distribution was 34.9% under the age of 18, 25.5% from 18 to 24, 37.2% from 25 to 44, 2.3% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females, there were 155.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 190.3 males. These statistics are generally typical for military bases.

The median income for a household on the base was US$34,020, and the median income for a family was $33,588. Males had a median income of $26,011 versus $21,048 for females. The per capita income for the base was $12,410. About 5.8% of the population and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.6% of those under the age of 18 and 100.0% of those 65 and older.

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ Dehaan, Jenn (1 July 2021). "Col. O'Bryan takes over at garrison". The News-Enterprise. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Fort Knox | Base Overview & Info". Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  3. ^ "General George Patton Museum of Leadership - Home". Archived from the original on 18 February 2013.
  4. ^ "eARMOR Armor School Moves Operations to Fort Benning". Archived from the original on 27 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Army cadet training to move to Fort Knox". 3 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Historic V Corps activates at Fort Knox on 'picture perfect' day". 16 October 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Currency & Coins: Fort Knox Bullion Depository". United States Treasury. 13 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  8. ^ "9 Billion in Gold Shifted by US". The Washington Post. 5 March 1941. p. 23.
  9. ^ "Cargo of Gold Stowed in Vault At Fort Knox: Armored Cars, Machine Guns Guard Transfer From Special Train". Associated Proess. 14 January 1937.
  10. ^ Puleo, Stephen (2016). American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address (Kindle ed.). 9781250065742. p. 179. ISBN 9781250065742.
  11. ^ "P1. Race – Fort Knox CDP, Kentucky: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  12. ^ Barrouquere, Brett (11 September 2013). "Fire truck damaged on 9/11 on display at Fort Knox". The Associated Press/Stars and Stripes.
  13. ^ Ramage, James A., Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1986. ISBN 0-8131-1576-0.
  14. ^ "Fort Knox, KY • History". Archived from the original on 29 June 2007.
  15. ^ New York Times 17 July 1903 pg 5
  16. ^ The Courier-Journal 15 April 1928 end
  17. ^ Stephen Puleo, American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.
  18. ^ "Rediscovering Fort Knox: Universal Military Training program comes to Fort Knox". U.S. Army. 22 June 2018.
  19. ^ Sager, John (2013). "Universal Military Training and the Struggle to Define American Identity During the Cold War" (PDF). Federal History (5).
  20. ^ Barth, Jack (1991). Roadside Hollywood: The emoji MovieLover's State-By-State Guide to Film Locations, Celebrity Hangouts, Celluloid Tourist Attractions, and More. Contemporary Books. Page 126. ISBN 9780809243266.
  21. ^ "Gunman in Fort Knox Shooting Dies". AP NEWS.
  22. ^ "Worker at Fort Knox Kills 3, Then Shoots Himself". The New York Times. Associated Press. 19 October 1993.
  23. ^ "3 Killed, 2 Hurt in Army Base Shooting Spree". Los Angeles Times. 19 October 1993.
  24. ^ "Clipped From The Courier-Journal". The Courier-Journal. 19 October 1993. p. 1. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  25. ^ "Shooting reported at Fort Knox military post". WKYT TV. Archived from the original on 4 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  26. ^ M. Alex Johnson and Alastair Jamieson (3 April 2013). "'Not a random act': Civilian employee dead after Fort Knox shooting".
  27. ^ Dylan Lovan (4 April 2013). "FBI: Man charged with murder in Fort Knox shooting". USA Today
  28. ^ "Human resource center opens at Fort Knox". Louisville Business First.
  29. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Bullitt County, KY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 4 July 2022. - Text list - "Fort Knox Dependant Schools" refers to DoDEA schools.
  30. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Hardin County, KY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 4 July 2022. - Text list - "Fort Knox Dependent Schools" refers to the DoDEA schools.
  31. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Meade County, KY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 5 July 2022. - Text list - "Fort Knox Dependent Schools" refers to the DoDEA schools.
  32. ^ "Fort Knox Schools". The Department of Defense Education Activity. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  33. ^ "Fort Knox Units/Tenants". U.S. Army Fort Knox. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  34. ^ "U.S. Army V Corps". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  35. ^ "Army announces activation of additional corps headquarters". Army News Service. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  36. ^ "U.S. Army Recruiting Command". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
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  38. ^ "U.S. Army Cadet Command". Archived from the original on 25 December 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  39. ^ "U.S. Army Human Resources Command". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  40. ^ "First Army Division East". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  41. ^ "First Army - 4th Cavalry Brigade". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  42. ^ "1st Sustainment Command (Theatre)". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  43. ^ "84th Training Command". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  44. ^ "100th Training Division (LD)". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  45. ^ "83rd U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  46. ^ U.S. Army Garrison Fort Knox (27 March 2023). "Garrison". U.S. Army Fort Knox. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  47. ^ "U.S. Army Reserve Aviation Command". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  48. ^ "Army Reserve Careers Group". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  49. ^ "Ireland Army Health Clinic". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  50. ^ "19th Engineer Battalion". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  51. ^ a b "34th Military Police Detachment". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  52. ^ a b 34th & 905th Military Police Detachments (4 August 2023). "34th & 905th Military Police Detachments". Facebook. Retrieved 4 August 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  53. ^ "100th Army Band". Facebook. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  54. ^ "Fort Knox Kentucky". 26 January 2013. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.
  55. ^ Kentucky – Place GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000 Archived 12 February 2020 at Data Set: Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data
  56. ^ "US Army Armor Center- Family & Community". Archived from the original on 8 February 2008.
  57. ^ "Fort Knox, Kentucky Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  58. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  59. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2008.