Even as the Army faces shrinking budgets, an audit shows it paid out $16 million in paychecks over a two-and-a-half-year period to soldiers designated as AWOL or as deserters. It's the second time since 2006 the military has been dinged for the error.
A memo issued by Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky., found that the Army lacked sufficient controls to enforce policies for reporting deserters and absentee soldiers to cut off their pay and benefits immediately. The oversight was blamed primarily on a failure by commanders to fill out paperwork in a timely manner.
The payments from 2010 to 2012 represent only a fraction of the Army's nearly $44 billion projected payroll for 2013. Auditors and a watchdog group derided the waste as government agencies grapple with automatic spending cuts.
A leadership course for Army cadets will be moving to Ft. Knox, bringing thousands of college students to the post next summer.
The relocation of the Leader Development and Assessment Course is good news for Ft. Knox, which is losing a combat brigade as part of the Pentagon's force reduction.
A statement from the Army's Cadet Command says the move will consolidate summer training for its Reserve Officers Training Corps. Along with another ROTC course at the base, the summer courses will bring about 12,000 cadets and staff to Ft. Knox beginning in 2014.
The course was previously hosted by Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
Military posts all over the country began scaling back operations this week under furloughs ordered by the Department of Defense. A total of 11 days must be taken before September 30th due to across-the-board cuts in the federal budget.
At Fort Knox, about 5,900 civilian workers will be impacted. Fort Knox Spokesman Kyle Hodges says work weeks will be shortened to 32 hours.
"In large part, the furloughs will take place on Mondays or Fridays. However, depending on the office, there may be some exceptions."
Some positions, like medical and combat, are exempt.
Fort Knox is the largest employer in the Hardin County region. The local economy could feel the pinch of furloughs as the civilian workforce earns less money between now and the end of the fiscal year.
The George Patton Museum and Center for Leadership at Fort Knox is set to be rededicated Friday after a three-year renovation. The museum will open its doors with a new focus following a $5 million overhaul.
Gone are the days when the facility was dedicated to a collection of tank artifacts, something that was appropriate when Ft. Knox was home to the Army’s Armor School.
Instead, the Patton Museum will now focus on interactive features teaching lessons in military leadership from 1775 to the present. The museum will also soon be home to a fire truck that was used in the response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
The museum’s focus on leadership dovetails with the presence of the U.S. Army Cadet Command at Ft. Knox. That organization is responsible for commissioning the Army’s future officer leaders.
Gov. Steve Beshear and Ft. Knox Commanding General Jeff Smith will speak at Friday's rededication ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. eastern.
new long-term rehabilitation center for soldiers at Fort Knox is celebrating a ribbon-cutting this week. The ceremony for the Warrior Transition Battalion Complex will be held on Wednesday afternoon at the post. The new center located near Ireland Army Community Hospital will provide a temporary home for wounded, ill and injured service members who need at least six months rehabilitative care.