By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)October 27, 2016
When you follow the blue line from Fort Leonard Wood's main gate, don't expect to end up in the Emerald City of the Land of Oz.
Rather, the more than three miles of freshly painted blue will lead you to graduations of men and women who found the heart and courage to complete Basic Combat or One Station Unit training, and in doing so, have found no place like home in the U.S. Army.
The line, painted over the Columbus Day weekend, is to provide Families and guests of graduates a visual guide to the most used graduation venues on Iowa Avenue, said Brian Nelson, Business Operations and Integration Division chief, Directorate of Public Works.
The intent, according to Nelson, is to expedite the 30 percent increase of visitors to Fort Leonard Wood on graduation days.
Instead of holding up traffic to point out directions verbally or on an installation map, a guard at the gate can just tell them to "follow the blue line."
The line directs visitors to Baker Theater, Nutter Field House and Abrams Theater, the locations of the majority of graduations on post.
The idea surfaced by way of an Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, comment by a civilian employee, said Mike Alley, management analyst, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood.
"After a little research, I learned four other posts were already doing this," Alley said. "(The idea) was forwarded to the commander, DPW, the Directorate of Emergency Services and the garrison safety office."
"Terry (Collins, Operations and Maintenance Division, DPW) was the designer on the project," Nelson said.
"Terry researched and discussed with Fort Jackson what they had done and developed a project that would meet the needs of Fort Leonard Wood," he added.
The idea shows the value in idea sharing between installations and commands across the Army, according to the garrison.
"It stands as a great example of how good ideas are shared by sister installations," said Kathy Aydt, deputy garrison commander, USAG Fort Leonard Wood.
The blue line will not be visible along parts of Missouri Avenue during upcoming road construction. However, Nelson said, the line will be repainted, once the construction and repaving is complete. Currently, there are no plans to add additional lines from the East, South and West gates.