Last Updated: November 2nd, 2023By

June 8, 2023

FORT KNOX, Ky. – The Gen. George Patton Museum of Leadership is located just off post and is only donation-based. The museum features various exhibits on important leaders and artifacts from different U.S. Military events such as the Vietnam War and the World War II barracks. Tyler Reid has been the curator of the museum since April 2021. As a curator, he manages the handling and research of artifacts, design, and education.

Tyler Reid, a curator at the Gen. George Patton Museum of Leadership, gives a tour of the newly expanded Reserve Officers’ Training Corps exhibit at Fort Knox, Ky. June 8, 2023. Reid described the rappel wall that Cadets must complete as part of their training. | Photo by Lanie Guinn, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

Prior to being a curator, Reid participated in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Western Kentucky University in 2008. He did 11 years of active duty and came in as a commissioned officer. Reid was also in the corps of engineers, a platoon leader in combat for the 984th Engineer Company from 2010 to 2011, and he is still a major in the Army Reserve.

“I’ve always been interested in military history, particularly history of the U.S. Army, and also the study of weapons, equipment and leadership because that was my trade for 11 years,” stated Reid.

The Cadet Command is a featured exhibit at this museum, but it did not have much displayed. Reid decided to move the whole exhibit and expand upon it.

“It’s the major command that we support, and we are really the welcome center for Fort Knox,” Reid stated. “The public can visit us without having to come to the main post. And because ROTC is a big piece of the Fort Knox mission now, it’s important to tell that story.”

The goal for the museum changed after Reid took over. Rather than focusing on just Gen. George Patton, the focus switched to other military leaders.

“We really wanted to rectify that relationship; the name is Gen. George Patton Museum of Leadership,” Reid said. “Patton didn’t just study one Army leader, he studied a lot. That set the stage for our philosophy going forward, we are still going to feature Gen. Patton, but the museum’s stage is going to have a lot more leaders placed on it to examine and study.”

Tyler Reid, a curator at the Gen. George Patton Museum of Leadership, gives a tour of the old barracks from World War II at Fort Knox, Ky. June 8, 2023. Reid described how all the beds used to be laid out in one big room. | Photo by Lanie Guinn, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

Patton believed that military history was the fundamental way of professional development for leaders for the next war. Military history at this museum creates a solid foundation for future leaders.

Reid spoke high of a specific leader from the Vietnam exhibit. His name was Capt. Riley Pitts, and he possessed a strong character and personal courage. Reid noted that he was killed in action and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on that day. Pitts had a radioman named Spc. Don Brock who saved the survivors after combat, and he received the Distinguished Service Cross, second highest award for valor.

“It really speaks volumes to take care of your Soldiers, and they will take care of you, and why we ultimately train people to replace us,” said Reid. For the Cadets who are training this summer, family day is when they finally get to meet back up with their family. This would make for a great opportunity for the Cadets to visit the Gen. George Patton Museum of Leadership.

About the Author: Lanie Guinn
Lanie Guinn
Lanie Guinn is going into her Junior year of college at Ball State University. She is majoring in Journalism with a concentration in photographic storytelling with a double minor in strategic communication and psychological science. This summer Lanie is interning as a Public Affairs Officer for the CST program. She hopes to learn and continue to build on skills in photography and videography. Outside of school, she is quite the adrenaline junkie who enjoys being outdoors and trying new things.