A crucial situation has arisen regarding the future location the 11th Cavalry Memorial currently located at Fort Knox. Do we move with the Armor Center to Fort Benning or do we remain at Fort Knox? The 11th ACVVC Board of Directors needs your help, your feedback, and your opinions to determine the best course for the Board to pursue on behalf of our members. We are working closely with the Blackhorse Association on this issue. We must provide a final decision to Major General Donald M. Campbell, CG of the Armor Center, Fort Knox, by October 2009. Any move would not take place until 2011 or 2012.
We received a copy of the following letter from MG Campbell through the Blackhorse Association regarding the move of the Armor Center and School from Fort Knox to Fort Benning, GA. This move is part of Base Realignment And Closing (BRAC).
"The US Army Armor Center and School will be relocating to Fort Benning to combine with the Infantry Center to form the Maneuver Center of Excellence. This move will improve both the training and cohesion of our already preeminent ground combat forces.
"Fort Benning will soon transition from being the Home of Infantry to becoming the Home of Maneuver, as well as the Home of Armor with construction having already begun on world class facilities to train future Armor and Cavalry Soldiers. As part of that construction effort a state-of-the-art climate controlled facility, which will serve as the nucleus of the National Armor and Cavalry Museum, will be built to house one of the largest and most varied collection of armor vehicles in the world. Our facility will be co-located with the new National Infantry Museum, a collection of World War II era training buildings once occupied by the 2d Armored Division, the Maneuver Center Parade Field, and a monument park honoring our Infantry, Armor, and Cavalry forces past and present.
"The bulk of the armored vehicle collection presently on Fort Knox will move into this new museum, forming the backbone of the collection that will represent our historic lineage. Some of the current collection, along with the General George S. Patton, Jr. collection, will remain at Fort Knox. I would like to move all the Armor and Cavalry unit monuments presently on Fort Knox to the new monument park planned for Fort Benning to serve as inspiration for future generations of Armor and Cavalry Soldiers. However, if you would rather that it stay at Fort Knox and be part of the Human Resource Center of Excellence, your monument will not be moved. Should you allow your monument's movement, rest assured that once at the new Home of Armor and Cavalry, it would be part of the largest museum complex in Georgia, visited and viewed by tens of thousands of Soldiers, their families, and civilian visitors annually.
"I look forward to hearing your organization's desire on this important matter as we build a wonderful new branch home post. Sincerely, Donald M. Campbell Jr., Major General, US Army, Commanding"
This proposed relocation of the Memorial is an emotional issue for 11th ACVVC because the centerpiece of the Memorial area is the Blackhorse Vietnam Memorial, dedicated to 730 Troopers who were killed in action while serving with the regiment in Vietnam. Many of us know men who are listed on this Memorial.
We are extremely proud of the 11th Cavalry Memorial and the men it honors. The Vietnam Memorial has a unique history with its origin of being constructed in Vietnam with hand quarried stone from the very land on which the Blackhorse Regiment fought communist aggression.
The Memorial as a whole entity is dedicated to all Blackhorse troopers who served in all campaigns beginning with the Philippine Insurrection in 1902-1904, World War II in 1944-1945, the Vietnam War 1966-1972, as well as the latest deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III in 2005-2006.
There are many things we need to consider with either option. There are many questions to be asked, some of which cannot be answered at the time of this article. Those questions will be answered as quickly as possible. We intend to keep you informed through this newsletter and our website on all information regarding this proposal.
CONSIDERATIONS OF THE 11th ACVVC:
§ The Armor Center and School will move to Fort Benning as a result of the Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) recommendations.
§ Fort Benning will become the Home of Armor
§ The Armor School and Infantry School will combine and be called the Maneuver Center of Excellence.
§ Future generations of armor, cavalry and infantry soldiers will train at Fort Benning.
§ A new National Armor and Cavalry Museum will be built at Fort Benning.
§ The bulk of the armor vehicle collection at Fort Knox will be moved to Fort Benning and the new National Armor and Cavalry Museum.
§ The armor and cavalry monuments currently at Fort Knox will be moved to Fort Benning and the new National Armor and Cavalry Museum.
§ We have the option of moving the 11th Cavalry Memorial to Fort Benning or leaving it at Fort Knox
§ The Army will pay for relocation of all monuments, including the 11th Cavalry Memorial if a decision is made to move with the Army's planned relocation.
§ We have been assured the 11th Cavalry Memorial (all 4 monuments) and bricks would be moved and placed in the same position and order as they are now. Many who have purchased bricks have requested they be placed next to a friend. All bricks would be positioned exactly as they are now.
§ Any move would not occur until 2011-2012.
§ A response must be given to the Commanding General by October 2009.
§ The Human Resources Command will move from Alexandria, VA, to Fort Knox.
§ Fort Knox will be known as the Human Resource Center of Excellence.
§ The Patton Museum will remain at Fort Knox.
§ Current status of the proposed expansion of the Patton Museum is unknown at this time.
§ Would our Memorial be the only armor and cavalry memorial if it remained at Fort Knox?
§ Which location (Fort Knox or Fort Benning) offers the highest visibility for armor and cavalry soldiers as well as other visitors?
Please take time to read the above letter again and give careful consideration to both options. Please email any officer or board member with any thoughts or questions. The Board of Directors has discussed the Army's proposal at length and looks forward to receiving your emails on the subject before a final decision is made.
Allen D. Hathaway, 11th