The Fort Knox Directorate of Emergency Services held its inaugural badging ceremony and award presentation at Fort Knox's Godman Army Airfield Fire Station Dec. 2.

The ceremony was designed to recognize the different departments of DES, build cohesion and recognize the importance of the family as the support system for all employees.

"This is a first for us. The [police] officers have a badging ceremony when they graduate their academy, but they don't typically have one at their welcoming organization," Fort Knox Police chief Michael Doggett said. "We developed this program to bring them in, welcome them to the team and add to the onboarding process.

"We include the families because we realize these men and women can't do their job without the support of their families, and their families need to know that they're a part of a bigger family now -- our DES family."

Fort Knox Fire Chief Jay Schiedewitz said he believes the various DES departments must work hand-in-hand and it's never too early to begin that relationship.

"It's extremely important to cultivate the relationship between these organizations. Every day that they come to work, they will work as a team," Schiedewitz said. "From the [first] dispatch to the end of the event, it is critical that we know each other, that we work together, and that we function as a team."

Schiedewitz said the ceremony is important because it celebrates an important symbol in the community.

"We also mark the importance of putting a badge on your chest," said Schiedewitz. "This says, 'I will be an honorable person and serve the community. I will do what it takes to keep our community safe -- safe from fire, from crime or from an outside threat at the gate.'"