RADCLIFF, Ky.— The Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) announced today that the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) has named the Greater Fort Knox Region to the 2018 class of Great American Defense Communities. Chosen through a competitive nominating process, the region is one of only five communities across the country to receive the designation for its support to military families.
In nominating the Greater Fort Knox region, KRDA touted its wide array of services and innovative programs that set the region apart from hundreds of other defense communities across the country.
“We know this region is second to none in its support to Soldiers, military veterans and their families,” said retired Maj. Gen. Bill Barron, interim CEO of KRDA. “We couldn’t be prouder that the ADC has recognized that, too.”
KRDA showcased innovative partnerships, programs and events that demonstrated the region’s support including the Where Opportunity Knox initiative that connects transitioning service members with employment opportunities in the region.
Barron also said the decades long partnership between Fort Knox and Hardin Memorial Health was highlighted as especially valuable given Fort Knox’s Ireland Army Community Hospital transition to a clinic this year.
Community events specially designed for military service members, veterans, retirees and their families like the annual Hooray for Heroes were also featured in the application.
Barron said the region’s commitment to Soldiers and their families goes beyond admiration and reverence.
“In many ways, it is because we are them and they are us,” said Barron. “We are one community. We worship together. Our kids attend the same schools and play on the same athletic fields. We attend the same community festivals and serve in the same civic organizations. We barbeque at each other’s homes.”
Incoming CEO Retiring Brig. Gen. James Iacocca expressed his excitement of designation.
“This is a testament to the people of this region,” said Iacocca. “The words ‘military friendly’ are not a cliché here. That’s why so many military families like mine have chosen to stay in Central Kentucky when they leave the service.”
Iacocca, who will start as KRDA CEO on Jan. 2, served in several assignments at Fort Knox including most recently the former Adjutant General of the Army, a position he held at U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox.
Iacocca added that the establishment of KRDA following a successful $2.5 million capital campaign is yet another great example of the region’s commitment to the installation and the Soldiers who serve there.
Representatives from KRDA and the community will be recognized at an ADC forum in February and prominently featured the ADC National Summit in June. KRDA will also work with ADC to coordinate local celebrations and activities.