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After struggling to find its identity with the departure of the U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox has developed its own individualized logo post officials believe encompasses its multifunctional missions and diverse range of units.
The new logo has been rolled out in recent weeks on the Fort Knox website and welcome center, signs around post and the unit wall at the Chaffee Gate near the waterfall, said Col. Bruce Jenkins, garrison commander.
Jenkins said the logo will start appearing in presentations and will be featured on clubs and other signs around post. Fort Knox, too, is developing partnering signs for Hardin County communities as far south as Elizabethtown and as far north as West Point that feature the new logo alongside the city’s logo, describing in detail how the two entities work together.
The finalized logo is splashed with a black and yellow color scheme and prominently features a soldier in full kit with a weapon in hand in an action stance.
Jenkins said officials knew the soldier must be well represented in the final design.
“Soldiers are not in the Army,” he said. “Soldiers are the Army.”
The logo was approved in January by Maj. Gen. Jefforey Smith, commander of Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, but the process took months to complete.
Jenkins said the idea was discussed with Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, former Fort Knox commanding general, but the concept really took hold when Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald was commanding the post.
With a gun barrel design leading them, post officials attempted to sketch different logos but never struck on the right elements, so Fort Knox launched a re-branding contest in July which yielded more than 30 entries.
While some good ideas were rendered, Jenkins said none of the entries latched onto a winning theme.
Seeing a window of opportunity, Fort Knox media relations officer Kyle Hodges, who minored in graphic design in college, started crafting his own take on the logo, drawing from his intimate knowledge of Fort Knox’s mission sets and units through his daily job.
Hodges said his main focus in drafting the logo was to create a clean piece of art that easily could shrink and fit on a piece of letterhead.
After three weeks of work, Hodges submitted the logo to Jenkins for review and started the process of tweaking the image to meet requirements.
Initially, Hodges used a silhouette of a soldier saluting, but post leadership desired a different stance. To meet the request, photos were taken of a soldier in full gear from multiple stances and Hodges developed a logo for each stance, he said. Other tweaks included a change in one of the words inside the arrows, the addition of the state of Kentucky behind the soldier and use of the black and yellow color scheme.
Beyond its focus on the soldier, the logo includes the Fort Knox slogan “Strength Starts Here” and several words that encapsulate the modern Fort Knox: human capital, training, leadership, effects and heritage.
With its focus on human resources and personnel management commands on post, Jenkins said Fort Knox stands out as a hub for human capital while more training is going on than ever before.
Jenkins said Fort Knox also is crafting leaders and is making decisions and leading missions vital to national security, which ties into its effects.
Lastly, Fort Knox has a rich history steeped in artillery and armor, he said.
Hodges said about 75 percent of his original design made the final cut and he was pleased to be able to blend one of his hobbies into his professional career.
“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed,” he said. “It’s something I looked at doing as a career in college.”
Hodges said incorporating visual design into his role at Fort Knox allows him to illustrate another skill set.
“It lets me tap into a creative part of my psyche I wouldn’t otherwise in media relations,” he said.
Jenkins described Hodges as the “brain” behind the logo, which he said will help establish Fort Knox’s identity to outsiders who struggle to define the post.
“It represents Fort Knox well,” he said.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or email@example.com.