The Pentagon

The Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. As a symbol of the U.S. military, the phrase The Pentagon is often used as a metonym for the Department of Defense and its leadership.

The building was designed by American architect George Bergstrom and built by contractor John McShain. Ground was broken on September 11, 1941, and the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943. General Brehon Somervell provided the major motivating power behind the project;[5] Colonel Leslie Groves was responsible for overseeing the project for the U.S. Army.

The Pentagon is the world's largest office building, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2) of space, of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices.[6][7] Some 23,000 military and civilian employees,[7] and another 3,000 non-defense support personnel, work in the Pentagon. It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 mi (28.2 km)[7] of corridors. The central five-acre (20,000 m2) pentagonal plaza is nicknamed "ground zero" on the presumption that it would be a prime target in a nuclear war.[8]

On September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after the building's construction began, American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and flown into the western side of the building, killing 189 people (59 victims and the five perpetrators on board the airliner, as well as 125 victims in the building), according to the 9/11 Commission Report.[9] It was the first significant foreign attack on Washington's governmental facilities since the city was burned by the British during the War of 1812.

The Pentagon is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.[3]

The Pentagon
The Pentagon, cropped square
The Pentagon is located in District of Columbia
The Pentagon
Location in the Washington, D.C. area
General information
Architectural styleStripped Classicism
LocationArlington County, Virginia
Address1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-1400
Coordinates38°52′16″N 77°03′22″W / 38.871°N 77.056°WCoordinates: 38°52′16″N 77°03′22″W / 38.871°N 77.056°W
Construction startedSeptember 11, 1941
CompletedJanuary 15, 1943
Cost$83 million (equivalent to $1.1 billion in 2018)[1]
OwnerUnited States Department of Defense
Roof71 feet (22 m)[2]
Top floor5
Technical details
Floor count7
Floor area6,636,360 square feet (620,000 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectGeorge Bergstrom
David J. Witmer
Main contractorJohn McShain, Inc.
Other information
Parking67 acres
Pentagon Office Building Complex
The Pentagon is located in Virginia
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is located in the United States
The Pentagon
LocationJefferson Davis Hwy./VA 110 at I-395, Arlington, Virginia
Area41 acres (17 ha)
ArchitectBergstrom, G.E.; Witmer, D.J.
Architectural styleClassical Revival, Modern Movement, Stripped Classicism
NRHP reference #89000932[3]
VLR #000-0072
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 27, 1988
Designated VLRApril 18, 1989[4]

Layout and facilities

Building and ship comparison to the Pentagon2
The Pentagon (light blue) compared to large ships and buildings:
  The Pentagon, 1,414 feet, 431 m
  RMS Queen Mary 2, 1,132 feet, 345 m
  USS Enterprise, 1,123 feet, 342 m
  Hindenburg, 804 feet, 245 m
  Yamato, 863 feet, 263 m
  Empire State Building, 1,454 feet, 443 m
  Knock Nevis, ex-Seawise Giant, 1,503 feet, 458 m
  Apple Park, 1,522 feet, 464 m

The Pentagon building spans 28.7 acres (116,000 m2), and includes an additional 5.1 acres (21,000 m2) as a central courtyard.[10] Starting with the north side and moving clockwise, its five façades are the Mall Terrace Entrance façade, the River Terrace Entrance façade, the Concourse Entrance (or Metro Station) façade, the South Parking Entrance façade, and the Heliport façade.[11] On the north side of the building, the Mall Entrance, which also features a portico, leads out to a 600 ft (180 m) long terrace that is used for ceremonies. The River Entrance, which features a portico projecting out 20 ft (6.1 m), is on the northeast side, overlooking the lagoon and facing Washington. A stepped terrace on the River Entrance leads down to the lagoon; and a landing dock was used until the late 1960s to ferry personnel between Bolling Air Force Base and the Pentagon.[10] The main entrance for visitors is on the southeast side, as are the Pentagon Metro station and the bus station. There is also a concourse on the southeast side of the second floor of the building, which contains a mini-shopping mall. The south parking lot adjoins the southwest facade, and the west side of the Pentagon faces Washington Boulevard.

The concentric rings are designated from the center out as "A" through "E" (with in addition "F" and "G" in the basement). "E" Ring offices are the only ones with outside views and are generally occupied by senior officials. Office numbers go clockwise around each of the rings, and have two parts: a nearest-corridor number (1 to 10) followed by a bay number (00 to 99), so office numbers range from 100 to 1099. These corridors radiate out from the central courtyard, with corridor 1 beginning with the Concourse's south end. Each numbered radial corridor intersects with the corresponding numbered group of offices (for example, corridor 5 divides the 500 series office block). There are a number of historical displays in the building, particularly in the "A" and "E" rings.

Floors in the Pentagon are lettered "B" for Basement and "M" for Mezzanine, both of which are below ground level. The concourse is on the second floor at the Metro entrance. Above ground floors are numbered 1 to 5. Room numbers are given as the floor, concentric ring, and office number (which is in turn the nearest corridor number followed by the bay number). Thus, office 2B315 is on the second floor, B ring, and nearest to corridor 3 (between corridors 2 and 3). One way to get to this office would be to go to the second floor, get to the A (innermost) ring, go to and take corridor 3, and then turn left on ring B to get to bay 15.[12] It is possible for a person to walk between any two points in the Pentagon in less than seven minutes.[13]

The complex includes eating and exercise facilities, and meditation and prayer rooms. Tours for the public were suspended after the 2001 attack.

Just south of the Pentagon are Pentagon City and Crystal City, extensive shopping, business, and high-density residential districts in Arlington. Arlington National Cemetery is to the north. The Pentagon is surrounded by the relatively complex Pentagon road network.[14]

The Pentagon has six Washington, DC ZIP Codes (despite its location in Virginia). The Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the four service branches each have their own ZIP Code.[15]

View from the south



Main Navy Building and Munitions Building on the Washington National Mall, 1918
Main Navy Building (foreground) and the Munitions Building were temporary structures built during World War I on the National Mall. The Department of War headquarters was in the Munitions Building for several years before moving into the Pentagon.
Pentagon road network map 1945
1945 map of the Pentagon road network, including present-day State Route 27 and part of the Shirley Highway, as well as the Main Navy and Munitions Buildings near the Lincoln Memorial

Before the Pentagon was built, the United States Department of War was headquartered in the Munitions Building, a temporary structure erected during World War I along Constitution Avenue on the National Mall. The War Department, which was a civilian agency created to administer the U.S. Army, was spread out in additional temporary buildings on the National Mall, as well as dozens of other buildings in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In the late 1930s, a new War Department Building was constructed at 21st and C Streets in Foggy Bottom but, upon completion, the new building did not solve the department's space problem and ended up being used by the Department of State.[16] When World War II broke out in Europe, the War Department rapidly expanded in anticipation that the United States would be drawn into the conflict. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson found the situation unacceptable, with the Munitions Building overcrowded and the department spread out.[17][18]

Stimson told U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in May 1941 that the War Department needed additional space. On July 17, 1941, a congressional hearing took place, organized by Virginia congressman Clifton Woodrum, regarding proposals for new War Department buildings. Woodrum pressed Brigadier General Eugene Reybold, who was representing the War Department at the hearing, for an "overall solution" to the department's "space problem" rather than building yet more temporary buildings. Reybold agreed to report back to the congressman within five days. The War Department called upon its construction chief, General Brehon Somervell, to come up with a plan.[19]

Pentagon construction
View from northwest with construction underway, July 1942
Military police keep back Vietnam War protesters during their sit-in on October 21, 1967, at the mall entrance to the Pentagon
The Pentagon US Department of Defense building
Southwesterly view (1998) with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in background


Government officials agreed that the War Department building, officially designated Federal Office Building No 1, should be constructed across the Potomac River, in Arlington County, Virginia. Requirements for the new building were that it be no more than four stories tall, and that it use a minimal amount of steel. The requirements meant that, instead of rising vertically, the building would be sprawling over a large area. Possible sites for the building included the Department of Agriculture's Arlington Experimental Farm, adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, and the obsolete Hoover Field site.[20]

The site originally chosen was Arlington Farms which had a roughly pentagonal shape, so the building was planned accordingly as an irregular pentagon.[21] Concerned that the new building could obstruct the view of Washington, D.C., from Arlington Cemetery, President Roosevelt ended up selecting the Hoover Airport site instead.[22] The building retained its pentagonal layout because a major redesign at that stage would have been costly, and Roosevelt liked the design. Freed of the constraints of the asymmetric Arlington Farms site, it was modified into a regular pentagon which resembled the fortifications of the gunpowder age.[23]

On July 28, Congress authorized funding for a new Department of War building in Arlington, which would house the entire department under one roof,[24] and President Roosevelt officially approved of the Hoover Airport site on September 2.[25] While the project went through the approval process in late July 1941, Somervell selected the contractors, including John McShain, Inc. of Philadelphia, which had built Washington National Airport in Arlington, the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, along with Wise Contracting Company, Inc. and Doyle and Russell, both from Virginia.[26] In addition to the Hoover Airport site and other government-owned land, construction of the Pentagon required an additional 287 acres (1.16 km2), which were acquired at a cost of $2.2 million.[27] The Hell's Bottom neighborhood, a slum with numerous pawnshops, factories, approximately 150 homes, and other buildings around Columbia Pike, was also cleared to make way for the Pentagon.[28] Later 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land were transferred to Arlington National Cemetery and to Fort Myer, leaving 280 acres (1.1 km2) for the Pentagon.[27]


Contracts totaling $31,100,000 were finalized with McShain and the other contractors on September 11, and ground was broken for the Pentagon the same day.[29] Among the design requirements, Somervell required the structural design to accommodate floor loads of up to 150 pounds per square foot, which was done in case the building became a records storage facility at some time after the end of the current war.[25] A minimal amount of steel was used as it was in short supply during World War II. Instead, the Pentagon was built as a reinforced concrete structure, using 680,000 tons of sand dredged from the Potomac River, and a lagoon was created beneath the Pentagon's river entrance.[30] To minimize steel usage, concrete ramps were built rather than installing elevators.[31][32] Indiana limestone was used for the building's façade.[33]

Architectural and structural design work for the Pentagon proceeded simultaneously with construction, with initial drawings provided in early October 1941, and most of the design work completed by June 1, 1942. At times the construction work got ahead of the design, with different materials used than specified in the plans. Pressure to speed up design and construction intensified after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, with Somervell demanding that 1,000,000 sq ft (9.3 ha) of space at the Pentagon be available for occupation by April 1, 1943.[34] David J. Witmer replaced Bergstrom as chief architect on April 11 after Bergstorm resigned due to charges, unrelated to the Pentagon project, of improper conduct while he was president of the American Institute of Architects.[35] Construction was completed January 15, 1943.[36]

Soil conditions of the site – on the Potomac River floodplain – presented challenges, as did the varying elevations across the site, which ranged from 10 to 40 feet (3.0–12.2 m) above sea level. Two retaining walls were built to compensate for the elevation variations, and cast-in-place piles were used to deal with the soil conditions.[37] Construction of the Pentagon was completed in approximately 16 months at a total cost of $83 million. The building is approximately 71 feet (22 m) tall, and each of the five sides of the building is 921 feet (281 m) long.[2]

The building was built one wing at a time; each wing was occupied as soon as it was completed, even as construction continued on the remaining wings.

The Pentagon was designed in accordance with the racial segregation laws in force in the state of Virginia at the time, with separate eating and lavatory accommodations for white and black persons; the dining areas for black persons were in the basement.[38][39] However, when Roosevelt visited the facility before its dedication, he ordered removal of the "Whites Only" signs, and the Pentagon became the only building in Virginia where segregation laws (which remained in force until 1965) were not enforced.[39]



The Pentagon became a focal point for protests against the Vietnam War during the late 1960s. A group of 2,500 women, organized by Women Strike for Peace, demonstrated outside of Secretary of Defense. Robert S. McNamara's office at the Pentagon on February 15, 1967.[40] In May 1967, a group of 20 demonstrators held a sit-in outside the Joint Chiefs of Staff's office, which lasted four days before they were arrested.[41] In one of the better known incidents, on October 21, 1967, some 35,000 anti-war protesters organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, gathered for a demonstration at the Defense Department (the "March on the Pentagon"), where they were confronted by some 2,500 armed soldiers. During the protest, a famous picture was taken, where George Harris placed carnations into the soldiers' gun barrels.[42] The march concluded with an attempt to "exorcise" the building.

On May 19, 1972, the Weather Underground Organization bombed a fourth-floor women's restroom, in "retaliation" for the Nixon administration's bombing of Hanoi in the final stages of the Vietnam War.[43]

On March 17, 2007, 4,000 to 15,000 people (estimates vary significantly) protested the Iraq War[44] by marching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon's north parking lot.


From 1998 to 2011, the Pentagon was completely gutted and reconstructed in phases to bring it up to modern standards and improve security and efficiency. Asbestos was removed and all office windows sealed.[45]

As originally built, most Pentagon office space consisted of open bays which spanned an entire ring. These offices used cross-ventilation from operable windows instead of air conditioning for cooling. Gradually, bays were subdivided into private offices with many using window air conditioning units. With renovations now complete, the new space includes a return to open office bays, a new Universal Space Plan of standardized office furniture and partitions developed by Studios Architecture.[46]

September 11, 2001 attacks

Aerial view of the Pentagon during rescue operations post-September 11 attack.JPEG

On September 11, 2001, the 60th anniversary of the Pentagon's groundbreaking, a team of five al-Qaeda affiliated hijackers took control of American Airlines Flight 77, en route from Washington Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, and deliberately crashed the Boeing 757 airliner into the western side of the Pentagon at 9:37 am EDT as part of the September 11 attacks. All 59 civilians and the 5 terrorists on the airliner were killed, as were 70 civilians and 55 military personnel who were in the building. The impact of the plane severely damaged the outer ring of one wing of the building and caused its partial collapse.[47] At the time of the attacks, the Pentagon was under renovation and many offices were unoccupied, resulting in fewer casualties. Only 800 of 4,500 people who would have been in the area were there because of the work. Furthermore, the area hit, on the side of the Heliport facade, was the section best prepared for such an attack. The renovation there, improvements which resulted from the Oklahoma City bombing, had nearly been completed.[48][11][49]

Security video of crash of Flight 77 (impact at 1:25).[50]

It was the only area of the Pentagon with a sprinkler system, and it had been reconstructed with a web of steel columns and bars to withstand bomb blasts. The steel reinforcement, bolted together to form a continuous structure through all of the Pentagon's five floors, kept that section of the building from collapsing for 30 minutes—enough time for hundreds of people to crawl out to safety.

The area struck by the plane also had blast-resistant windows—2 inches thick and 2,500 pounds each—that stayed intact during the crash and fire. It had fire doors that opened automatically and newly built exits that allowed people to get out.[49]

Contractors already involved with the renovation were given the added task of rebuilding the sections damaged in the attacks. This additional project was named the "Phoenix Project," and was charged with having the outermost offices of the damaged section occupied by September 11, 2002.[51][52][53]

Pentagon blue lights
9/11 anniversary illumination, 2007

When the damaged section of the Pentagon was repaired, a small indoor memorial and chapel were added at the point of impact. For the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, a memorial of 184 beams of light shone up from the center courtyard of the Pentagon, one light for each victim of the attack. In addition, an American flag is hung each year on the side of the Pentagon damaged in the attacks, and the side of the building is illuminated at night with blue lights. After the attacks, plans were developed for an outdoor memorial, with construction underway in 2006. This Pentagon Memorial consists of a park on 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land, containing 184 benches, one dedicated to each victim. The benches are aligned along the line of Flight 77 according to the victims' ages, from 3 to 71. The park opened to the public on September 11, 2008.[54][55][56]

Hall of Heroes

Pentagon Hall of Heroes Entrance
The Hall of Heroes on the main concourse

On the building's main concourse is the Hall of Heroes, opened 1968[57] and dedicated to the more than 3,460 recipients of the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military decoration.[58][59][60][61] [62][63] The three versions of the Medal of Honor – Army, Sea Service (for the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard), and Air Force – are on display along with the names of recipients.[62] The Hall is also used for promotions, retirements, and other ceremonies.[64][65][66][67][68][69]

See also



  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Facts: Navigating The Pentagon". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (July 9, 2010). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  4. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  5. ^ Steve Vogel, The Pentagon: a History (2003).
  6. ^ "The Pentagon – George Bergstrom – Great Buildings Online". Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c The Pentagon, Facts & Figures Archived August 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (accessed August 23, 2014)
  8. ^ "Pentagon Hot Dog Stand, Cold War Legend, to be Torn Down". United States Department of Defense. September 20, 2006. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 'It's rumored that a portion of their (Soviet) nuclear arsenal was directed at that building, the Pentagon hot dog stand,' tour guides tell visitors as they pass the stand. 'This is where the building earned the nickname Cafe Ground Zero, the deadliest hot dog stand in the world.'
  9. ^ "Pentagon Memorial Dedication". Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Goldberg (1992), p. 57
  11. ^ a b "The Pentagon". Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  12. ^ "How to Find a Room in the Pentagon". Headquarters, Dept. of the Army. Archived from the original on September 21, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2007.
  13. ^ "Man shoots 2 officers outside Pentagon". CNN. March 5, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  14. ^ "Mixing Bowl Interchange Complex". Retrieved November 22, 2006.
  15. ^ Facts & Figures: Zip Codes Archived August 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Goldberg (1992), p. 6–9
  17. ^ "Intro – Secretaries of War and Secretaries of the Army". United States Army Center of Military History. 1992.
  18. ^ "Main Navy & Munitions Buildings". Naval History & Heritage Command. Archived from the original on October 5, 2001. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
  19. ^ Vogel (2007), pp. 29–33
  20. ^ Vogel (2007), pp. 35–37
  21. ^ Bureau of Public Roads memorandum, October 25, 1960.
  22. ^ "General Information". Archived from the original on November 29, 2005. Retrieved December 4, 2005.
  23. ^ Vogel, Steve (May 27, 2007). "How the Pentagon Got Its Shape". Washington Post. pp. W16. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  24. ^ Goldberg (1992), p. 22
  25. ^ a b Goldberg (1992), p. 33
  26. ^ Goldberg (1992), p. 29
  27. ^ a b Goldberg (1992), p. 34
  28. ^ Vogel (2007), p. 131
  29. ^ Goldberg (1992), p. 35; p. 44
  30. ^ "Rare, Unseen: Building the Pentagon". Archived from the original on September 26, 2011.
  31. ^ McGrath, Amanda (May 26, 2007). "How The Pentagon Got Its Shape (Gallery)". The Washington Post.
  32. ^ Goldberg (1992), p. 52–53
  33. ^ Owens, Jim (February 2005). "Replacing the stone and rebuilding the Pentagon". Mining Engineering. 57 (2): 21–26.
  34. ^ Goldberg (1992), p. 39–42
  35. ^ Goldberg, p. 36
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ Goldberg (1992), p. 47; p. 52
  38. ^ Weyeneth, Robert R. (2005). The Architecture of Racial Segregation: The Challenges of Preserving the Problematical Past. pp. 28–30.
  39. ^ a b Carroll, James (2006). House of War: the Pentagon and the disastrous rise of American power (Print). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. pp. 4–5.
  40. ^ White, Jean M. (February 16, 1967). "2500 Women Storm Pentagon Over War". Washington Post.
  41. ^ Auerbach, Stuart (May 13, 1967). "Pentagon Protesters Jailed". Washington Post.
  42. ^ "Flowers, Guns and an Iconic Snapshot". The Washington Post. March 18, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  43. ^ Jacobs, Ron (1997). The Way the Wind Blew. Verso. p. 142. ISBN 1-85984-167-8.
  44. ^ "8 Years After Start of War, Anger Reigns," Washington Post, March 17, 2007 page A1
  45. ^ Vogel, Steve (June 22, 2011). "New Pentagon Is A Paragon". Washington Post. p. 1.
  46. ^ Renovation of the Pentagon. Retrieved October 9, 2006. Archived October 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ Isikoff, Michael; Daniel Klaidman (June 10, 2002). "The Hijackers We Let Escape". Newsweek. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  48. ^ Schrader, Esther (September 16, 2001). "Pentagon, a Vulnerable Building, Was Hit in Least Vulnerable Spot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  49. ^ a b "Where The Pentagon Was Hit". LA Times. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  50. ^ "Flight 77, Video 2". Judicial Watch. Archived from the original on November 16, 2006.
  51. ^ "Pentagon Renovation Program". Archived from the original on May 8, 2006. Retrieved December 4, 2005.
  52. ^ Childs, Nick (August 15, 2002). "Americas: Pentagon staff reclaim destroyed offices". BBC News. Retrieved December 4, 2005.
  53. ^ "Pentagon History – September 11, 2001". Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  54. ^ Pentagon Memorial Web site Archived January 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ Official press release at the United States Department of Defense Archived May 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  56. ^ Wilgoren, Debbie; Nick Miroff; Robin Shulman (September 11, 2008). "Pentagon Memorial Dedicated on 7th Anniversary of Attacks". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved September 11, 2008.
  57. ^ Maffre, John (May 15, 1968) "The President Looks to Peace 'For Which These Men...Have Fought...'" The Washington Post, page 1.
  58. ^ Department of the Army (July 1, 2002). "Section 578.4 Medal of Honor". Code of Federal Regulations Title 32, Volume 2. Government Printing Office. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  59. ^ DoD Award Manual, November 23, 2010, 1348. 33, P. 31, 8. c. (1) (a)
  60. ^ Tucker, Spencer C.; Arnold, James; Wiener, Roberta (2011). The Encyclopedia of North American Indian Wars, 1607–1890: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. p. 879. ISBN 978-1-85109-697-8. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  61. ^ The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is so designated because that was the name it was given in an act of Congress that was signed into law by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 5, 1958 as Title 36, Chapter 33 of the U.S. Code (see "The Congressional Medal of Honor Society's History". Official Site. Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Retrieved October 1, 2006.). The law authorizing the society has since been transferred to Title 36, Chapter 405 of the U.S. Code. [1]
  62. ^ a b "Welcome to the Headquarters Department of Defense: Self Guided Tour Brochure – Pentagon Tours Program". Retrieved December 2, 2013 [2]
  63. ^ Baker, Henderson "Inside the Pentagon Post 9/11" Scholastic News Online. Retrieved December 2, 2013 [3]
  64. ^ Hughes, Libby (1992) Norman Schwartzkopf: Hero with a Heart Lincoln, Nebraska: IUniverse Publishing, page 109
  65. ^ Hirschfelder, Paulette (2012) The Extraordinary Book of Native American Lists Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, page 220
  66. ^ Roth, S. (June 23, 2000) "Pentagon's hall of heroes welcomes asian-american veterans". Gannett News Service. Retrieved December 1, 2013 [4]
  67. ^ Staff writer, (March 30, 1991) "Pentagon's gulf war spokesman retires". St.Petersburg Times. Retrieved on December 1, 2013 [5]
  68. ^ Omicinski, J. (December 1, 1999) "Comanche code-talkers honored for WWII service". Gannett News Service. Retrieved on December 3, 2013 [6]
  69. ^ Staff writer (February 26, 2004) "Readiness award". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved on December 2, 2013 [7]


  • Carroll, James (2007). House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-18780-4.
  • Goldberg, Alfred (1992). The Pentagon: The First Fifty Years. Office of the Secretary of Defense / Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-16-037979-2.
  • Vogel, Steve (2007). The Pentagon – A History: The Untold Story of the Wartime Race to Build the Pentagon and to Restore it Sixty Years Later. Random House. ISBN 0-8129-7325-9.

External links

American Airlines Flight 77

American Airlines Flight 77 was a scheduled American Airlines domestic transcontinental passenger flight from Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. The Boeing 757-223 aircraft serving the flight was hijacked by five men affiliated with al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks. They deliberately crashed the plane into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., killing all 64 people on board, including the five hijackers and six crew, as well as 125 people in the building.

Less than 35 minutes into the flight, the hijackers stormed the cockpit and forced the passengers, crew, and pilots to the rear of the aircraft. Hani Hanjour, one of the hijackers who was trained as a pilot, assumed control of the flight. Unknown to the hijackers, passengers aboard made telephone calls to friends and family and relayed information on the hijacking.

The hijackers crashed the aircraft into the western side of the Pentagon at 09:37 EDT. Many people witnessed the crash, and news sources began reporting on the incident within minutes. The impact severely damaged an area of the Pentagon and caused a large fire. A portion of the building collapsed; firefighters spent days working to fully extinguish the blaze. The damaged sections of the Pentagon were rebuilt in 2002, with occupants moving back into the completed areas that August. The 184 victims of the attack are memorialized in the Pentagon Memorial adjacent to the crash site. The 1.93-acre (7,800 m2) park contains a bench for each of the victims, arranged according to their year of birth, ranging from 1930 to 1998.

Arlington County, Virginia

Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, often referred to simply as Arlington or Arlington, Virginia. In 2016, the county's population was estimated at 230,050, making it the sixth-largest county in Virginia, or the fourth-largest city if it were incorporated as such. It is the 5th highest-income county in the U.S. by median family income and has the highest concentration of singles in the region.The county is coterminous with the U.S. Census Bureau's census-designated place of Arlington. Though a county, it is also treated as the second-largest principal city of the Washington metropolitan area.

The county is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River directly across from the District of Columbia, of which it was once a part. With a land area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Arlington is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the U.S., and by reason of state law regarding population density, has no incorporated towns within its borders. Due to the county's proximity to downtown Washington, D.C., Arlington is home to many important installations for the capital region and U.S. government, including the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and Arlington National Cemetery. Many schools and universities have campuses in Arlington, most prominently the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University.

Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg (born April 7, 1931) is an American writer, activist and former United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of the U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers.

On January 3, 1973, Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 along with other charges of theft and conspiracy, carrying a total maximum sentence of 115 years. Due to governmental misconduct and illegal evidence-gathering, and the defense by Leonard Boudin and Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson, Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. dismissed all charges against Ellsberg on May 11, 1973.

Ellsberg was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006. He is also known for having formulated an important example in decision theory, the Ellsberg paradox, his extensive studies on nuclear weapons and nuclear policy, and for having voiced support for WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden.

Ellsberg was awarded the 2018 Olof Palme Prize for his profound humanism and exceptional moral courage.

DoD News Channel

DoD News Channel was a television channel broadcasting military news and information for the 2.6 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces. It was widely available in the United States as a standalone television channel, or as part of programming on local PEG cable television channels. It could be viewed FTA in most Central and Western European countries (from Eurobird 9A at 9.0° East), Africa, the Americas and most of Asia via satellite, and globally via the Internet. DoD News Channel was free, in the public domain, and accessible 24/7 to all U.S. cable and satellite providers.

The channel was founded in 2004 as The Pentagon Channel. On July 8, 2014, The Pentagon Channel was rebranded as the DoD News Channel. The channel ceased operations on April 17, 2015. However, content will still be produced for the American Forces Network and the website

Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, also known as Pentagon City Mall, is a shopping mall in Arlington, Virginia. It is situated in the Pentagon City neighborhood near Interstate 395 and Hayes Street. The mall takes its logo from the architectural design of Washington Tower. Its Metro level is directly connected to the Pentagon City station on the Blue and Yellow Lines of the Washington Metro.

Completed in October 1989, the Fashion Centre is the largest enclosed shopping mall in Arlington, housing 164 retailers and restaurants. It is anchored by department stores Macy's and Nordstrom, and is directly connected to the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City hotel.

Flex Mentallo

Flex Mentallo is a comic book character created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Richard Case in 1990, during their run on Doom Patrol. Flex is in part a parody of Charles Atlas' long-running "The Insult that made a Man out of Mac" advertisements seen in American comics from the past.

In 1996, Flex Mentallo appeared in a self-titled, four-issue miniseries written by Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely. The miniseries forms part of what Morrison calls a thematic hypersigil trilogy along with The Invisibles and The Filth.Mentallo appears in his first live-action adaptation on the first season of the Doom Patrol television series, played by Devan Chandler Long.

Ground zero

In terms of nuclear explosions and other large bombs, the term "ground zero" (also known as "surface zero") describes the point on the Earth's surface closest to a detonation. In the case of an explosion above the ground, ground zero refers to the point on the ground directly below the nuclear detonation and is sometimes called the hypocenter (from Greek ὑπο- "under-" and center).

Generally, the term "ground zero" is also used in relation to earthquakes, epidemics, and other disasters to mark the point of the most severe damage or destruction. The term is distinguished from the term zero point in that the latter can also be located in the air, underground, or underwater.

Headquarters Marine Corps

Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) is a headquarters staff within the Department of the Navy which includes the offices of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and various staff functions. The function, composition, and general duties of HQMC are defined in Title 10 of the United States Code, Subtitle C, Part I, Chapter 506 (Headquarters, Marine Corps).HQMC "consists of the Commandant of the Marine Corps and those staff agencies that advise and assist him in discharging his responsibilities prescribed by law and higher authority. The Commandant is directly responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the total performance of the Marine Corps. This includes the administration, discipline, internal organization, training, requirements, efficiency, and readiness of the service. The Commandant also is responsible for the operation of the Marine Corps material support system."HQMC is currently spread throughout the Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area, to include the Pentagon, Henderson Hall, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., Marine Corps Base Quantico, and the Washington Navy Yard.

National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam

The Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, which became the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, was a coalition of antiwar activists formed in 1967 to organize large demonstrations in opposition to the Vietnam War. The organization was informally known as "the Mobe".

New York Times Co. v. United States

New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the First Amendment. The ruling made it possible for The New York Times and The Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censorship or punishment.President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment, was subordinate to a claimed need of the executive branch of government to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment did protect the right of The New York Times to print the materials.


In geometry, a pentagon (from the Greek πέντε pente and γωνία gonia, meaning five and angle) is any five-sided polygon or 5-gon. The sum of the internal angles in a simple pentagon is 540°.

A pentagon may be simple or self-intersecting. A self-intersecting regular pentagon (or star pentagon) is called a pentagram.

Pentagon Force Protection Agency

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) is an American law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) charged with protecting and safeguarding the occupants, visitors, and infrastructure of The Pentagon, the Mark Center Building, the Defense Health Headquarters, and other assigned Pentagon facilities. In 2004 the Pentagon Force Protection Agency employed 482 police officers.This mission is accomplished with law enforcement officers (United States Pentagon Police), criminal investigative and protective services agents; threat management agents; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives technicians; and anti-terrorism/force protection and physical security personnel.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency provides a comprehensive protective intelligence analysis capability, which includes threat analysis, threat investigation, and criminal intelligence services to protect Pentagon facilities, employees and senior DoD personnel. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency liaises with other federal law enforcement and intelligence communities and conducts threat assessments and investigations for protective details while they are in the National Capital Region.

Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon Memorial, located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 people who died as victims in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the September 11 attacks.Designed by Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman of the architectural firm of Kaseman Beckman Advanced Strategies with engineers Buro Happold, the memorial opened on September 11, 2008, seven years after the attack.

Pentagon Papers

The Pentagon Papers, officially titled Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. The papers were released by Daniel Ellsberg, who had worked on the study; they were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of The New York Times in 1971. A 1996 article in The New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers had demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration "systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress".More specifically, the papers revealed that the U.S. had secretly enlarged the scope of its actions in the Vietnam War with the bombings of nearby Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, none of which were reported in the mainstream media.For his disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was initially charged with conspiracy, espionage, and theft of government property, but the charges were later dismissed after prosecutors investigating the Watergate scandal discovered that the staff members in the Nixon White House had ordered the so-called White House Plumbers to engage in unlawful efforts to discredit Ellsberg.In June 2011, the entirety of the Pentagon Papers was declassified and publicly released.

Pentagon station

Pentagon Transit Center is a split platform station on the Washington Metro located adjacent to The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Providing service for both the Blue and Yellow Lines, the station is where the two lines diverge and thus acts as a transfer point. Northbound, the Blue Line continues through Virginia and the Yellow Line crosses the Potomac River into the District of Columbia.

The station opened on July 1, 1977 with the completion of 11.8 miles (19.0 km) of rail between National Airport and RFK Stadium.

The station is located underground, adjacent to The Pentagon, and formerly had a direct (but secure) entrance to the Pentagon and its underground shopping center. This entrance was closed in 2001 as part of the Pentagon Renovation Program. Access to the Pentagon is now gained via a new secured entrance facility above ground near the bus depot and the entrances to the subway station. The new exit features signage displayed at Gallery Place-Chinatown and newer stations.

September 11 attacks

The September 11 attacks (also referred to as 9/11) were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.

Four passenger airliners operated by two major U.S. passenger air carriers (United Airlines and American Airlines)—all of which departed from airports in the northeastern United States bound for California—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed. Debris and the resulting fires caused a partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, which led to a partial collapse of the building's west side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was initially flown toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers thwarted the hijackers. 9/11 is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history and the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed, respectively.

Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda. The United States responded by launching the War on Terror and invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had failed to comply with U.S. demands to extradite Osama bin Laden and expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to prevent terrorist attacks. Although Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's leader, initially denied any involvement, in 2004 he claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives. After evading capture for almost a decade, bin Laden was located in Pakistan and killed by SEAL Team Six of the U.S. Navy in May 2011.

The destruction of the World Trade Center and nearby infrastructure seriously harmed the economy of Lower Manhattan and had a significant effect on global markets, which resulted in the closing of Wall Street until September 17 and the civilian airspace in the U.S. and Canada until September 13. Many closings, evacuations, and cancellations followed, out of respect or fear of further attacks. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002, and the Pentagon was repaired within a year. On November 18, 2006, construction of One World Trade Center began at the World Trade Center site. The building was officially opened on November 3, 2014. Numerous memorials have been constructed, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Although not confirmed, there is evidence of alleged Saudi Arabian involvement in the attacks. Given as main evidence in these charges are the contents of the 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. These 28 pages contain information regarding the material and financial assistance given to the hijackers and their affiliates leading up to the attacks by the Saudi Arabian government.

Speech or Debate Clause

The Speech or Debate Clause is a clause in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1). The clause states that members of both Houses of Congress

...shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their attendance at the Session of their Respective Houses, and in going to and from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

The intended purpose is to prevent a President or other officials of the executive branch from having members arrested on a pretext to prevent them from voting a certain way or otherwise taking actions with which the President might disagree.

A similar clause in many state constitutions protects members of state legislatures in the United States. Legislators in non-U.S. jurisdictions may be protected by a similar doctrine of parliamentary immunity.

The Pentagon (album)

The Pentagon is an album by pianist Cedar Walton recorded in 1976 and released on the Japanese East Wind label.

The Pentagon Spy

The Pentagon Spy by Franklin W. Dixon is the 61st title of the Hardy Boys Mystery Stories. It was published by Wanderer Books in 1980 and by Grosset & Dunlap in 2005.

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