By Matthew RectorJune 22, 2018
In 1947, selected Army recruits in the Universal Military Training Experimental Unit began receiving instruction at Fort Knox.
The experimental UMT program offered extended basic training and combined it with civilian supervision and discipline. Six months of training was given in the different branches of the Army and was followed up with six months of specialist courses at technical service schools.
This training, with an emphasis on spiritual, physical and mental well-being, also provided the recruit with upgraded barracks and family style meals. If proven successful and adopted by Congress, all 18-20 year old American males would be subject to the training in an effort to retain military readiness during the early days of the Cold War. Secretary of War Robert Patterson was among the officials that visited Fort Knox to inspect the training in progress.
That summer, 3rd Armored Division was reactivated at Fort Knox and assumed command of the Armored Replacement Training Center. As UMT training continued into 1948, Patterson and the Truman administration argued that UMT was vital to maintaining military strength in the country. However, the controversial and fiercely debated measure failed to garner enough votes in Congress to become law.