Title: The Story Behind the Door

Release Date: 2017-04-24

Document Date: 2004-07-21

Description: A staff member from Technology Services provides an account of how her department conceived of and created their prizewinning Fourth of July door decorations.

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(U) The Story Behind the Door
FROM:
Technology Services (S212)
Run Date: 07/21/2004

(U//FOUO) The July 4th door decorations on room 1C131 attracted quite a bit of attention - to
the point of causing traffic jams in the hallway. Many people wondered about the motivation
behind "the door". Well, this is the story...
(U//FOUO) It all started back in late 2002 when the programmers and management of all the
different projects that make up the new voice processing system got the opportunity to sit
together and all moved to 1C131/1C145. We finally had space of our own, and we were happy to
be there. To show our pride for our work and support for our country, we started a tradition of
decorating the door with patriotic posters and flags.
(U) 1C is a very busy hallway, and our decorations quickly developed a fan club. It was even
more interesting how quickly the decorated door became a landmark - particularly for the
occupants of the room. Use of the decoration for determining where "home" is has become so
strong, that now a warning goes out to all occupants of the room the day before decorations are
changed!
(U) Well -- that might help explain why we decorate at all, but we will admit that the July 4th
door is pretty special. Let's talk about door decorating contests.... We started small and simple
with the 2002 Holiday decoration contest. Two more contests came and went (July 4 and Holiday
2003), and we won honorable mention for the Holiday 2003 effort. During this time we looked at
winning doors and gathered ideas. We really wanted a door that was worthy of our high traffic
location and the pride we feel in our work. We wanted a door that people would enjoy stopping
to look at, and one that would make them think about our proud heritage.
(U) The 2004 July 4 door decorating contest became the focus of all of these goals. We gathered
a team of 5 excited and creative individuals, with a range of talents to bring to the table. Our
engineers made detailed measurements and drew plans for the construction, our electrical
experts figured out how to run the lighting, our craft people scoured stores looking for materials
that would work, and we all searched our homes for the bits and pieces that would come
together for the multiple dioramas we had decided to produce. We strove to depict intelligence
activities throughout American history, and at the same time tie in the work we are actually
doing - so one of the boxes shows screen shots of our software.
(U//FOUO) As with any truly successful project, the door was a team effort. A team of 5
dedicated and interested people pulled the door together with the support, understanding, and
tolerance of the other 25 who reside behind the door.
(U) We are appreciative that the contest awarded us a blue ribbon, but are more humbled and
appreciative of the comments we get from people who stop and view the door. Our fans tell us
it's awesome! We see many people stop and smile when they pass by. We hope the door gives
them a good feeling way down deep. We have people open our door and shout in, "Awesome
door", or come in and just want to talk to us for a few minutes about it. Every one of us has
been stopped on the way in or out of the room by someone who wants to know more about the
door - and we are all happy to take a few minutes to chat about the heritage it depicts. For us,
it's not the contest, but the opportunity to provide a reminder of the proud heritage we all share.
(U) So now our door now has a life of its own, and a reputation to maintain.

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)."

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DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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