Each year, Army Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from universities around the United States arrive at Fort Knox to complete their Basic and Advanced Course work, which develops leadership skills and officer potential.

Each year since 2013, the Armed Services Blood Program has partnered with Cadet Summer Training leaders at U.S. Army Cadet Command here to conduct blood drives from June through August. This year is no exception.

The program is the official blood collection agency for the U.S. military and is tasked with providing blood to ill or injured service members and their Families worldwide. Working as a joint operation, it is the military's blood source.

Donations collected by ASBP medical staff will be shipped within four days of collection in support of worldwide missions.

A little over 3,600 units of blood were collected at Fort Knox in 15 drives last year alone. Since a single blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives, close to 11,000 blood products were made available to ill and injured people throughout the Department of Defense footprint.

Collection teams from Fort Benning and Fort Gordon, Georgia, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, will be on hand during a 53-day period to collect the blood. The drives are primarily provided for the cadets attending CST with collections offered at specific times.

However, program officials are calling for everyone within the Fort Knox community to roll up their sleeves and help be a lifeline for the front line.

The ASBP blood drives will be conducted in Smith Physical Fitness Center on the following dates:
• June 27
• July 2, 7, 12, 17-18, 22-23, 27-28
• August 1-2, 6-7, 11-12, 16

All members of Fort Knox and the surrounding communities are encouraged to stop by and donate between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Donors will be greeted separately and expedited through the donation process to expedite time. Everyone arriving to donate blood will receive juice, snacks and an ASBP T-shirt as a heartfelt thank you.

All ASBP drives are open to people 18 years and older, whether military or civilian. Potential donors must weigh at least 116 pounds and be feeling well for at least three consecutive days. They must also be well-hydrated and have eaten something before donating. Those wanting to donate should know where and when they have traveled outside the United States as well as bringing a valid form of photo identification, such as a military ID or state-issued driver's license.

For more information about the Fort Knox blood drives or to schedule a unit or group visit, call (910) 386-9925 or send an email to linda.l.ellerbe.civ@mail.mil. For more information about ASBP, see the link below.