Sherman Brown and the men and women who serve as access control gate guards at Fort Knox are just some of the workforce essential to everyday operations on the installation.Brown said his job in security is as much business as it is pleasure since he is the first line of defense for the installation, and the first to greet people arriving.“We’re here to check your credentials [as you] gain access to the Army post, and I try to make the transition as smooth as I can as people travel to their residence, work or school.”The way the guards conduct their work has changed somewhat in light of COVID-19. Brown said added measures like sanitizing individual guard booths at the beginning of each rotation and personally sanitizing hands and handheld equipment throughout the day keep both the community and the guard force safer."Regardless of the situation, we are here to protect the people of Fort Knox,"“The [COVID-19 virus] has made life a little more complicated for us here, and we’re wearing a lot more gear to protect ourselves as well as to protect the customers we come in contact with,” Brown said. “We’re probably seeing more than a thousand people every day. We want to protect all of them and not bring anything home to our families, either.”He said the mission is too important to do anything less.“We are very important because we man the gates at all times. Regardless of the situation, we are here to protect the people of Fort Knox,” he said. “This is our priority, no matter what is going on with this virus or any other thing.”