Today, The 6th Branch is proud to announce our new logo, designed to reflect the spirit of the organization and create greater brand recognition.
The history of the current logo begins with our origins, a simple gathering a few friends in a Baltimore row home. The idea was made real in early 2010 by a group of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who wanted to continue serving and to improve the world around them, but do so starting at home. Our logo had to reflect that. The result was a detailed graphic created by founding member Greg Lamberson, who found a way to capture the sense of patriotism veterans still feel when they come home.
In the original logo, the first five stars represent the five branches of the military while the sixth recognizes the importance of civilian service and volunteerism in the community. The tattered but bold banner harkens back to revolutionary times when an army of patriots came together to fight for a better life for their fellow citizens.
In many ways, The 6th Branch is still revolutionary. What started as a group of five veterans and two civilians has grown into a family of more than 1,000 citizens from around Baltimore, the entire state of Maryland, and in some cases across the country.
Operation: Oliver, a project dedicated to revitalizing a blighted East Baltimore neighborhood by recognizing the needs of the community and then seeking out resources, solutions, or at the very least, awareness, has become the product of that revolution. The resulting concept of a veteran sponsored community (VSC) is a modern approach to more than one problem.
Rich Blake, founding member and Board Chair of The 6th Branch, continues to press the need for using the leadership skills veterans have learned during their service in the places where America needs them the most. When he was still building the network of friends and partners we have today, he usually gave an explanation similar to this one – offered recently for a statement in a T6B press release:
“I came home looking for a way to continue my service. What I discovered is that society didn’t have very high expectations for me, and I didn’t want to be an old guy sitting at a bar and reminiscing about the war. I wanted to be productive. Today’s veterans shouldn’t be relegated to headlines about PTSD, homelessness, joblessness or props for federal holidays. The reality is that we’re in every city and every community; and we can do things like bring real change to a forgotten neighborhood. That message should be spread far and wide. Our motivation and drive is a precious resource, virtually untapped by America, and we’ve set out to prove that it’s worth tapping into.”
With The 6th Branch now firmly rooted in Baltimore and receiving recognition from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Governor Martin O’Malley, as well as press from local, national and international media outlets, our next phase is fully in motion.
The initial phase required us to find a voice and make ourselves heard. We’ve done that. The next step is to continue the work, grow and amplify our message: “Service doesn’t end when the uniform is put away.”
The logo introduced today, designed by Abby Ferretti, incorporates the culture and spirit of the organization’s present and our vision for the future.
A hex nut, symbolic of both an anchored connection and a six-sided bond, reflects the relationship being built between veterans of the five branches and the civilian community. The infinite thread at its center reflects our belief that the need for giving back never ends.
The bold “T6B” is an adoption of the veteran culture of our organization. If there’s an acronym to be had, the military has one. A few members began using this acronym a couple of years ago and it caught on. “T6B” uniquely identifies The 6th Branch, and it is widely used by our most frequent volunteers and core team members.
The original wording “The 6th Branch” remains in the new logo at its base because the name is this organization’s foundation. The belief in the concept and a continuous push to explain its meaning led to partnerships with schools, businesses and other veterans in the city and surrounding areas. The question“What is ‘The 6th Branch’?” has started thousands of conversations and helped the organization network to find valuable resources that have been put to use in the Oliver community and on other projects.
As the organization moves forward, Dave Landymore, Executive Director of The 6th Branch, says he envisions the T6B model of community service being an example for other veterans who want to network and bring their local communities together to tackle the toughest challenges.
“As veterans, it was a sense of duty and willingness to serve that led us to the military in the first place. Those feelings don’t necessarily just go away upon separation, and what better way to serve one’s country than to serve IN one’s country? T6B is an aggressive organization; we believe we can be impactful not only in Oliver but eventually in communities across Baltimore City and hopefully encourage our fellow veterans across the nation to continue their service at home.”