FORT KNOX, Ky. — Seven Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army, known as CASAs, visited Fort Knox July 19 to receive updates on the installation and meet with leaders from various on-post units and organizations.
The visit included stops at a Cadet Summer Training graduation, a U.S. Army Cadet Command headquarters, CST training sites, U.S. Army Recruiting Command headquarters, the Fort Knox energy security bunker and Chestnut Glen housing area.
John Moulton, CASA for Illinois, said the energy program here was a highlight of his visit.
“That was fantastic!” said Moulton. “Some of the National Guard and Reserve units in Illinois have done some efforts with solar power… and there is an effort to have alternative power sources; but also to save what they have in the Reserve centers and the National Guard depot – turning off lights, and keeping windows closed.
“This is an exceptional energy program here.”
Other CASAs who took the opportunity to tour Fort Knox included Ohio CASAs Susan Green and Stephen Lee, as well as Stan Soderstrom from Indiana. The group of distinguished visitors was guided by garrison leaders and Northern Kentucky CASA Jim Iacocca.
Moulton’s fellow Illinois CASA, Steven Herman, said recruiting was one issue that really stood out for him during the visit.
“I learned a lot,” said Herman, “and got a greater appreciation for the challenges that Recruiting and Cadet Command face. But I was also really impressed with the housing here. I understand the critical shortages, but I also understand you all are doing a great job in rehabbing what you have.”
Moulton said recruiting is an issue that Illinois has been paying special attention to.
“On the recruiting side, we’ve got great relationships and are plugging in to help them identify needs and find working solutions,” said Moulton. “There are a lot of issues ahead of us.”
Northern Tennessee CASA Phil Harpel said although he had never visited Fort Knox before, he was well aware of some of the issues because Fort Campbell shared them.
“There were top-notch people that we’ve been with today, very informative — they shared lots of good information with us,” said Harpel.
Like Moulton and Herman, Harpel said recruiting concerns stood out to him because it has been a big topic in military news.
“I am not military, my dad was in World War II, but I’ve been to a couple of recruiting events, and I want to go to some more just to learn more,” said Harpel. “We see the issues on Zoom calls sometimes, but to be sitting in the room with the people who are responsible was great. Let’s face it, recruiting is tough right now.
“I know it’s been frustrating for the command because everybody is looking for folks, not just the Army, but it’ll work out because these folks have their heads screwed on right.”