Leadership unveils first Fort Knox logo
April 8, 2013
Whether on a building sign, as part of a Fort Knox PowerPoint presentation, at the main installation gate, or on the Army post's web page or Facebook site, the Fort Knox community has been gradually introduced to a new image over the past several weeks--the Fort Knox logo.
The logo was approved by U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox Commander Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith Jan. 25, but the process to create such a symbol began in February 2012 when Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald commanded the Army post.
With the move of the U.S. Armor School to Fort Benning, Ga., in 2011 and the reception of other organizations to Fort Knox around the same time due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decisions, McDonald said to Fort Knox Garrison Commander Col. Bruce Jenkins a logo was needed to illustrate to the public, in a quick and simple way, the "new" Fort Knox.
What began with on-post graphics specialists drafting proposed logos in early 2012 then expanded to launching an open rebranding competition in July 2012 which yielded more than 30 entries. Yet, none were selected.
"There's no question that creating a logo addressing the multifaceted nature of what happens here is difficult," Jenkins said. "But we knew 'that great idea' was still out there and we therefore shouldn't compromise on a big piece of how we show what Fort Knox is all about."
Having known no logo had been selected, Kyle Hodges--the Fort Knox Public Affairs Office's media relations officer--decided he would attempt to come up with a design before leadership may have to consider using an outside graphic design company.
"Graphic design is not part of my job, but it's something I've always enjoyed as a hobby," Hodges said. "Being one who regularly communicates to people how Fort Knox has transformed of late, coupled with my knowledge of graphic design, I wanted to give it a shot."
One of his primary design priorities, he said, was to keep the logo clean and simple so it could be easily used on places as small as letterhead and as big as billboards. Another one of his self-imposed tasks was to create a logo that "all members of the Fort Knox workforce could identify with in at least some way."
"Unlike how a tank could easily graphically represent Fort Knox as the Home of Armor back when that was the post's identity, there is no single object that can be used to say 'this is Fort Knox today,'" Hodges said. "We're just too diverse in our mission sets here. But there are common threads shared among our combat units, Reserve commands and human resource commands that could be woven together."
Hodges said it took about three weeks during his free hours to create a draft logo he believed met his own requirements. Upon completion, he sent his creation to Jenkins for review.
"Certainly, some of the previous concepts had great elements, but what Kyle created was right in line with what Maj. Gen. Smith and I were ultimately after," Jenkins
said. "Quite frankly, I didn't know what to expect from someone whose job isn't graphic design, but it just goes to show how multitalented our workforce is and how willing people
are to voluntarily step up and help the team."
The few tweaks Smith and Jenkins made to the logo were the result of input they received from units as well as Soldiers and Family members who live on Fort Knox. These adjustments involved the particular Soldier silhouette used, changing one of the words embedded in the arrows, incorporating the shape of the state of Kentucky and deciding on the yellow and black color scheme.
"I'm just glad I could help," Hodges said. "It was a privilege to work on this for the commanding general and garrison commander. Hopefully, the logo will be well received by the Fort Knox community, too."
Part of the logo incorporates the "Strength Starts Here" installation slogan that was created in 2010, which also serves to give an overarching idea of the missions performed at Fort Knox. Jenkins said this element, combined with using the U.S. Army's same branding font and color scheme, helps tie everything together for a professional and effective installation logo.
"I think what people can take, conceptually, from this logo is that we are diverse; we play important roles in completing our Army's critical missions; everything we do relates to the Soldier; and we are proud to call this supportive Commonwealth of Kentucky our home," Jenkins said.
Those traveling the 31W corridor will also see the new symbol of Fort Knox in the coming weeks, as it will be featured in signage highlighting the partnerships between the post and surrounding communities.
The Fort Knox logo is to be used for official purposes only, and the trademark process has already begun by the Fort Knox Staff Judge Advocate to ensure its protection and proper use.
Those with questions about use of the logo should email the Fort Knox Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the logo:
* The Soldier -- The Soldier in full kit is the most prominent feature and is in the middle of the logo, representing that all the activities performed on and representative of Fort Knox are centered on the Soldier -- the strength of the U.S. Army. The Soldier silhouette is of Staff Sgt. Timothy Rhodes, a former Fort Knox Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers president.
* Commonwealth of Kentucky -- The shape of the state of Kentucky immediately behind the Soldier and in the middle of the logo represents the close partnership that Fort Knox and its Soldiers have with the Commonwealth and its citizens. The shape as well as the written form of Kentucky in the logo also represent the pride Fort Knox Soldiers, Family members, and Department of Defense civilians have working and living in the Heartland.
* History -- The establishment year of Fort Knox is featured on the circle portion of the logo as a reminder of the military reservation's long and storied history.
* Arrows -- The five arrows that form a complete circle represent the lifecycle of the Soldier, which is all managed at Fort Knox--from initial recruitment and commissioning to retirement and beyond.
* Stars -- The four stars on the circle portion of the logo and that surround the establishment year represent the four distinct groups of individuals that have been and continue to be essential to the success of Fort Knox and its activities -- the Soldier, the Family member, the civilian employee, and the area community member.
* Words within the arrows -- The words within the arrows encapsulate what is Fort Knox today.
* Human Capital -- Signifies Fort Knox's status as the U.S. Army's "human capital" hub with its accessions and personnel management commands.
* Leadership -- Signifies the leadership programs on Fort Knox, the significant senior-ranking leadership presence on Fort Knox charged with leading Soldiers and helping shape the U.S. Army, and the General George Patton Museum of Leadership.
* Training -- Signifies the significant amount of training that takes place on Fort Knox -- both in a classroom and field environment -- as well as the world-class training ranges used by all branches of service, other federal agencies, and state and local law enforcement.
* Effects -- Signifies that the missions performed on Fort Knox create tangible and significant outcomes for the U.S. Army--whether it is policy that shapes the U.S. Army's future or well-devised and executed tactics that create advantages on the battlefield.
* Heritage -- Signifies the acknowledgement of and appreciation for the missions and dedicated people of Fort Knox from yesteryear, from the artillery years to the armor years and all those on the military reservation who contributed to accomplishing the U.S. Army's critical missions.