Fort Knox Army Base Guide
Fort Knox, Kentucky, is a U.S. Army base south of Louisville, KY, operating on over 100 thousand acres covering Bullitt, Meade, and Hardin counties.
Contrary to popular belief, Fort Knox is not the home of the U.S. gold reserves; it is sometimes confused with the nearby U.S. Bullion Depository but is not responsible for those operations. Fort Knox is home to the Human Resource Center of Excellence, which oversees Army careers from initial enlistment to retirement.
Fort Knox History
The earliest military operation on the site we know today as Fort Knox ran in 1861, as Fort Duffield. Camp Knox broke ground in 1918, and after being temporarily sidelined due to cuts associated with the National Defense Act of 1920, it was converted into a training area for the 5th Corps Area for Reserve Officers and the National Guard.
1931 is the year the installation began training mechanized cavalry troops; a year later, the base was designated Fort Knox and served as a POW facility during World War Two.
The Armored Force School and the Armored Force Replacement Center began training soldiers at Fort Knox in 1940, with an impressive run lasting until 2010, when the Armor School relocated to Fort Benning, Georgia, which was later redesignated Fort Moore in 2023.
The loss of the Armor School was part of the 2005 Base Realignment And Closure Commission’s recommendations, but Fort Knox would acquire the 1st Theater Sustainment Command in 2017, to add another mission to its impressive list.
Today, Fort Knox is a multifunctional installation with a “central role in recruiting, training and supporting the warfighter,” according to the U.S. Army official site.
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Fort Knox Surrounding Area
Louisville, Kentucky, is about 35 miles away and is a destination for sports fans thanks to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.
Fans of live music will find Bourbon Hall a must-see destination for live entertainment in Louisville, with some 18 thousand square feet. Naturally, the Kentucky Derby Museum here will interest horse racing fans.
Closer to the installation, Swan Lake State Park and Sears Island offer outdoor fun for the whole family, and if you like antique shopping, try the Searsport Antique Mall. There are not one, but THREE Peddlers Mall locations to choose from in the Louisville area for additional antique opportunities.
Fort Knox is also known for the General George Patton Museum, open year-round and operates on the post. It is free and open to the public.
Fort Knox Mission and Units
Important Fort Knox units include the previously mentioned Human Resource Center of Excellence, Accessions Command, Army Recruiting Command, and Army Cadet Command. Other important missions and units here have included:
- 113th Army Band, Accessions Command
- 19th Engineers
- 280th Military Police Detachment (CID), 3d MP Group
- 2nd Squadron 16th Cavalry Regiment
- 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
- 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
- 4th Brigade, 85th Division (TS)
- 703rd Ordnance Company (EOD)
- 7th Brigade TS, 100th Division Brigade
- 8th/229th Aviation
- U.S. Army Recruiting Command
- US Army 3rd Recruiting Brigade
- US Army Accessions Support Brigade
- US Army Cadet Command
- US Army Human Resources Command
- USA 3rd Recruiting Brigade
In-Processing and Check-In
If you travel to Fort Knox for duty lasting 30 days or more, report to Rockenbach Hall, Building 2020 for in-processing.
If you PCS to the area and have permissive temporary duty for house hunting on your orders, report to your gaining unit first, then report to the Processing Control Station. Be advised, according to the DoD, “All Soldiers must complete in-processing in duty uniform.” Hand-carry your PCS orders, plus any applicable leave forms.
Child Care at Fort Knox
There is high demand for child care at Fort Knox. According to the DoD, the Fort Knox Child Development Center is at press time, “Open only to children of those designated by on-post mission partners as mission essential, and that have been confirmed by CDC/SAC as being able to currently accept…” There is limited staffing for on-post child care at press time and you should expect to look for alternatives to CDC care if you PCS here.
Parents may have an option in on-post Family Child Care (FCC) homes. This is care provided via private, credentialed child care providers in Fort Knox family housing. This care is available for children ages four weeks through fifth grade. Extended care may be available evenings and weekends. Call +1 (502) 624-6703 for more information, waiting list details, etc.
Fort Knox Housing
Family housing at Fort Knox is privatized and run as a public/private venture between the base and Knox Hills LLC. When you arrive on PCS orders, you must check in at the Fort Knox Housing Services Office before you sign any housing agreements off base.
Unaccompanied service members assigned to Fort Knox (E-1 through E-5) may be assigned to on-post housing in the barracks, depending on current demand and other variables. On arrival, report to your gaining unit; you will be assigned barracks space afterward; report to the Soldier Housing Office in Building 2817 on 1st Infantry Division Road to get your room assigned.
Before you relocate, you can use HOMES.mil, which is a DoD official site offering families information on community housing rental listings located near military bases.
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PCS and TDY Lodging
IHG Army Hotels provides temporary lodging for those TDY and PCSing to the base. Make reservations at (502) 943-1000. There are multiple facilities in the area and temporary lodging is plentiful, but advance reservations are strongly encouraged thanks to high demand during PCS and TDY season. Pet-friendly facilities may be extremely limited or not available. It’s best to ask in advance.
If you are PCSing or coming to the area on TDY orders, expect to use ride-sharing or a taxi from the airport to Fort Knox; there is no Fort Knox-operated airport shuttle services available at the time of this writing. A privately owned shuttle option may be available depending on when you arrive.
If you have questions about getting to Fort Knox, inquire at the airport USO before departing for the installation. Most new arrivals will typically fly into Louisville Muhammed Ali International Airport, which has a functioning USO at press time.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Privately owned vehicles may be registered on post, call (502) 624-2111 for instructions and directions. Base decals are not required on post, but Fort Knox may require 100% ID checks entering and/or leaving the post depending on current threat levels or other factors.
All vehicles are subject to search at any time. If you have a valid military ID you may have no additional requirements except to carry current proof of insurance and an unexpired driver’s license, but dependents, non-U.S. citizens, and certain base employees may be subject to additional requirements. It’s best to call in advance if you arent’s sure what the requirements are for driving on post.
The installation is served by the Fort Knox Community Schools district, which includes two elementary schools, a middle school and one high school. According to the Department of Defense, “Fort Knox schools are a part of the Kentucky Community in the DoDEA Americas Southeast District” and include:
- Van Voorhis Elementary School
- Kingsolver School
- Scott Middle School
- Fort Knox High School
These facilities are for families living on post; if you plan to live off post, expect to send your children to a school district based on your location, which may include one of the following:
- Hardin County Schools
- Meade County Schools
- Elizabethtown Ind. Schools
Student registration includes the usual requirements:
- Birth certificate
- Shot record
- Social Security Number
- Copy of the child’s physical exams
- Proof of address
- Copy of orders
- Custody or guardian papers filed through the court, where applicable
Call Fort Knox School Support Services at 502-624-2305 for help with school placement issues on or off base.
Colleges and Universities
The Army Continuing Education System (ACES) offers “a wide range of academic and nonacademic educational opportunities as well as training opportunities to members of the Fort Knox community,” according to the DoD.
Counseling and other services may be offered for:
- Tuition Assistance (TA
- Credentialing Assistance (CA)
- VA education benefits
Area colleges include, but may not be limited to:
- University of Louisville
- Western Kentucky University
- Central Texas College
Fort Knox Contacts
411 Eisenhower Avenue
Fort Knox, KY 40121
- DSN 312-464-6291
Fort Knox Contact Numbers
- Army Community Service 624-6291
- Army Continuing Education Services 624-4114
- Army Emergency Relief 624-6291
- Army Family Team Building 624-6291
- Army Reserve Aviation Command 626-5750
- Army Substance Abuse Program 624-7031
- Automotive Skills and Service Center 624-5338
- Barracks Management 624-4898
- Camp Carlson 624-4836
- Carlson Wagonlit – Official Travel 1 (800) 296-2989
- Casualty Assistance Center (USAG) 624-5417
- Child and Youth Services 624-3232
- Child Development Center 624-6703
- Civilian Personnel Advisory Center 624-4839
- Clinic Appointments (800) 493-9602
- Commissary 624-8525
- Dispatch Emergency (Police, Ambulance, Fire) 911
- Dispatch Non-Emergency (Routine Calls) 624-2111/2112
- DOD Safe Helpline 1 (800) 995-5247
- Education Center 624-2427
- Fire and Emergency Division 624-2260
- Housing Services Office 624-8093/8084
- Household Goods 624-3927
- ID Cards 624-1526
- In and Out Processing 626-2688/2689
- Knox Hills Welcome Center (502) 799-6550
- One-Stop In/Out Processing Center 626-2688/2689
- Operator (Fort Knox) 624-1000
- School Liaison Office 624-2305
- Security Division 624-7262/4820
- Visitor Center 624-7011/7019
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About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.