By G. Anthonie Riis | Fort Knox NewsJuly 26, 2019
Col. Pat Kaune relinquished command of Fort Knox Garrison to Col. CJ King during a ceremony held at Fort Knox's Waybur Theater July 26.
Vincent Grewatz, director of U.S. Army Installation Management Command -- Training, presided over the ceremony and began his remarks by reminding the crowd of the importance of quality leadership to the Army's mission.
"Leaders are key to the success of building that readiness and projecting power," Grewatz said. "The Army does not train its officers to be garrison commanders, but it does develop leaders who are caring, innovative and motivated to win. Col. Kaune is proof."
Grewatz praised Kaune and the Fort Knox Garrison team for their role in providing quality base operations services during a time of transition and reduced resources. He went on to say that further success will be built on that foundation.
"The greatest legacy of this amazing command team are the people and partnerships they've built and bequeath to their successors."Grewatz said.
Over the last two years, Kaune oversaw and led a multitude of installation efforts, to include housing improvements, the post's yearlong centennial activities and a successful demonstration of powering the post exclusively with internally-generated energy -- a first for a military installation.
Under his watch, Fort Knox was also one of just five military communities to be named a Great American Defense Community by the Association of Defense Communities. The post was one of two installations to earn an honorable mention in the 2018 Army Communities of Excellence competition as well.
Kaune thanked his team and lauded them for the Garrison's successes.
"This has been an extraordinary team and staff -- the best team I've played on," Kaune said. "Your professionalism and willingness to go to any length to take care of Soldiers' Families, [Department of the Army] civilians and retirees inspired me.
Kaune added that with the installation's capacity and capability, along with the people that comprise the greater Fort Knox community, "We are able to do anything the Army decides us to be, needs us to be or wants us to be. We are just that good."
Grewatz said solid leadership is key to getting the most out of a good team and that King was selected to do just that.
"Col. King brings extensive experience to his new position, but let me be clear, nothing he has ever done will be anything like the mission on which he is about to embark," Grewatz told the crowd, before directing a message specifically to King.
"Hold fast to your branch and technical training, CJ They will again be valuable to you … one day, … but they are not why you are here," Grewatz said. "No, you have distinguished yourself by your leadership, your integrity, your organizational and managerial skills, your flexibility and creativity. Above all, your care and compassion for our Soldiers and Families are why you are here, … [and] these are all branch immaterial."
Kaune reinforced Grewatz's sentiment during his own remarks.
"I knew that CJ was the right leader at the right time for this installation, and that the Army couldn't have selected a better officer," said Kaune. "Even after the team shared everything about the position -- he still wanted the job."
King, who comes to Fort Knox from the Pentagon where he served as manager of the Army's Colonel Officers Management Office, thanked those in attendance and conveyed his anticipation of starting his new command.
"After I was selected to command at the company level, a senior Infantry captain who I had come to respect told me, 'Remember, command at any level in this Army is a privilege, and it should be treated that way … every single day is an absolute privilege.' Thank you for the privilege to lead this extraordinary team of elite professionals.
"I look forward to both leading and working alongside members of this team in the months to come."
Kaune will be reporting for a joint assignment in the intelligence community.