Museum at Fort Knox getting updated

FORT KNOX — The General George Patton Museum of Leadership at Fort Knox is getting an overhaul.

Officials at the museum told The News-Enterprise (Elizabethtown) that they are planning the new layout and gathering new materials to exhibit.

Consultant Edward Miller said the museum is starting from scratch and is being based on the concept of leadership instead of being built around tangible artifacts.

Although Patton's life will remain part of the story told by the museum, it will have exhibits on the jungles of Vietnam, Rome during World War II, and the trench warfare of World War I.

Museum director Chris Kolakowski said the thread that ties it all together is learning leadership through strategic decisions made during historic events.

Kolakowski said the museum's main directive is to help train soldiers.

"We have an opportunity to train the future leaders of the Army, using this museum and using this history once it's complete," he said. "That's a responsibility we take very seriously here and another reason we want to do this right and do this in an engaging manner."

Along with exhibits that tell stories of bravery, there will be artifacts, some of which haven't been displayed before.

For example, museum staff acquired uniforms from Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, a fire truck used on 9/11 at the Pentagon, and items used by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during Desert Storm.

Museum curator Nathan Jones said his favorite artifact, which hasn't been on display in decades, is a red flag that bears the signatures of Patton and his staff while he commanded the Western Task Force in North Africa in 1942.

He said the flag and other items aren't just artifacts; they have a personal story to tell.

"That's what gives these things power," Jones said.

Plans call for the renovated museum to open next June.