By By Maureen RoseAugust 20, 2010
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- The Army is no stranger to advertising. Remember 'Be All you can be:" or 'An Army of One''
Branding isn't actually advertising, but it can go a long way to reinforce a concept or motto. If you don't believe that colors have an impact on an image, just think about Brawny paper towels-would they sell as well if the towels came in pink wrappers'
Fort Knox planners are trying to ensure that the "wrappers" -those externals like color and graphics-reinforce the motto of "Strength Starts Here" as well as the new culture that is less armor and more reflective of the installation's broader, deeper, global mission due to the influx of deployable combat units.
"The new branding respects the history of Fort Knox as the Home of Armor, but it also reflects the expanded mission-including active Army units, reserve units, the Human Resources Center of Excellence, and our garrison partners," said John Myers, the deputy director of Accession's G-7 (Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach).
"Our goal is to present a common theme so that people know where they are from the moment they drive onto Fort Knox," he added. "Part of our branding philosophy welcomes our neighbors to visit Fort Knox. We're proud of what we do and we want the local communities to be part of it."
The new graphic and Strength Starts Here message hope to capture the new fabric of Fort Knox with a design that's clean, easy to recognize, and easy to associate with the Home of the HRCoE. Knox personnel should notice new signs going up, tied to the new SSH motto, as well as colors that replace the nondescript brown of current signs.
In addition, directional signs will be installed soon, with new colors and unit crests to further support pride in Knox's expanded mission, Myers explained.
While Fort Knox's overall identity and culture are changing, individual units will be given an opportunity to add their own flavor to the areas where they spend their time-or enclaves, as they'll be called. Although no names that memorialize heroes will be changed, some of the present nomenclature is a nod to armor traditions. By re-naming buildings or streets in their areas, workers-military or civilian-can identify more readily with their mission.
Knox Commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley has added that he would like to see generic graphics replaced by those with the real faces of real Soldiers from the unit to which the sign refers.
"Why name a building after a stranger instead of after a hero from your own unit who may have been killed in action'" queried Col. Scott Cottrell, Accessions Command's then Base and Realignment and Closure manager. "The enclaves should begin to reflect those people who live and work and eat and breathe there."
Enclaves will be a subset within larger command areas of responsibility, which will be distributed to units throughout Fort Knox. Boundaries will be designated and operational responsibility given to the post's units.
"Enclaves are to areas of responsibility much like a (forward operating base) is to the area of operations," explained Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Voller, who will oversee the enclaves and ensure that all maintain standards to generate pride in the community.
The AORs will incorporate responsibility for police call, force protection, housing areas, partnerships with schools and off-post communities, as well as maintaining on post monuments and cemeteries.
The enclave for the garrison, for example, will be Stithton Circle while its area of responsibility is much larger and includes organization like the commissary and post exchange.
"(Lt.) Gen Freakley understands that this is an evolving thing that we will have to continue to adjust and massage," said Voller. "I think you'll see improvements-we've gotten kind of tired, we need some energy to pick this place up. This is where a Soldier's career begins and ends now. Everything administratively happens for a Soldier right here at HRC. We should showcase (the installation). We're going to have lots of visitors; people who might not have had a reason to visit before will be coming now."
"Accessions Command brings people in," Cottrell explained, "and HRC tracks their careers from then on."
Not only will Soldiers come to Fort Knox to verify their records and serve on promotion boards, but many other categories of people will have occasion to come to the post.
"The families of the fallen come, too," Voller added. "We have a survivor outreach program that supports five or six states; we serve those families of almost 2,000 Soldiers. We have a park in our AOR that we're going to dedicate to those families."
"We want people to be comfortable with their Fort Knox experience, no matter what that experience entails," said Mr. Myers, "whether they're a Soldier, family member, retiree, civilian employee, or a member of that public that we want to invite to show and tell about ourselves."
"We take pride in our community," Voller said.