This Pentagon Tour will be under the purview of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Our tour will dynamically highlight the respective missions of the five Armed Services, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Staff through a 60-minute presentation that includes a 1.5 mile walk through the building. This walk will be punctuated by colorful displays and historic photographs depicting significant moments in military history, including the 9/11 Memorial Chapel. The following information from all attendees must be provided to me on the supplementary question:
Full Legal Name (first, middle, and last)
Social Security Number (or Passport Number if Non-Citizen)
Date of Birth
City and State of current legal residence
So, US citizens provide the SSN and foreign nationals provide their passport number. If you do not do this as required you cannot go. We are going in a sensitive facility and not providing the required information or not following the instructions will result in being removed from the RSVP list with no further communication.
We are doing this event in the afternoon so that those working need to only take half a day off. If the attendees want to get a meal after the tour, there will be opportunities we can explore after the tour close to the Pentagon Metro station. However, this is optional and not a planned part of the tour. Here is a link to the best eateries in the area:
Built in just 16 months, the Pentagon is the world’s largest low-rise office building. It is twice the size of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, has more than twice the floor space of the Empire State Building, and the U.S. Capitol could fit into any one of its five wedge-shaped sections. It boasts nearly 17 and one half miles of corridor, yet due to the Pentagon’s unique design, movement between any two opposite points takes as little as seven minutes. In addition, there are 19 escalators, 131 stairways, 284 restrooms, 691 water fountains and enough telephone wire in the building to wrap around the world four and one-half times.
The above photo shows prior tour attendees being briefed.
Our tour will be at 3 PM and last approximately 60 minutes, but we need to be there by 2 PM. The program does not operate on federal holidays and weekends.
Tours begin and end at the Pentagon Metro entrance. At least one form of proper identification, which must be current and contains a photograph, is required to enter the Pentagon. A valid form of identification containing a photograph that must be presented includes:
U.S. Passport Card
Driver's license or identification card issued by a State or outlying possession of the United States
Identification card issued by Federal, State, or local government agency
U.S. Government PIV Card (CAC for DoD Personnel)
DoD Affiliated Identification Cards (Retirees, Dependents, and Inactive Reservists)
Native American Tribal Document
U.S. Border Crossing Card Permanent Resident Card
Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (INS Form I-551)
Foreign passport with a temporary (I-551) stamp or temporary (I-551) printed notation on a machine readable immigrant visa
All attendees need to read, understand, and abide by the directives contained in this document:
Pentagon Security Measures
Pentagon Tours Operating Status
Due to any inclement weather or other special circumstances, the Pentagon adheres to guidance posted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). If there are closings or delays, they will be posted here.
The above photo shows the Pentagon tour guides (with the Commandant of the Marine Corps)
We will visit the memorial placed inside the Pentagon near the September 11th crash-site, along with the September 11th Memorial Chapel. The names of all the recipients of the Medal of Honor will be seen in the Hall of Heroes, and we will get an up-close look at an actual Medal of Honor.
Checking in for our Tour
Plan to arrive at the Pentagon Metro entrance 60 minutes before our scheduled tour to allow time for our group to process through building security. So we need to arrive at 2 PM. I will present a copy of my tour confirmation letter for each cleared group member to the Pentagon Police personnel. Once we have cleared security, we will proceed into the building and turn left to find the Pentagon Tours window, which is located inside the Pentagon Visitor's Center in the visitor waiting area. The check-in for all tours is at the Pentagon Tours window unless special arrangements for pickup at another building location have been made in advance. Our tour may be cancelled if our group has not checked in at the Pentagon Tours window prior to our scheduled tour time.
Tour Length and Difficulty
The Pentagon Tour is approximately 60 minutes in duration with a walking distance of about one and a half miles through the Pentagon corridors and staircases. Visitors taking part in a Pentagon tour should wear comfortable clothing and shoes. For any additional information, please call (703) 697-1776.
Visitors with Disabilities
Ramp access is available for the physically challenged. Tour visitors in wheelchairs must be accompanied by someone who will assist them. A signer will be added to tours to assist hearing impaired visitors provided that two weeks' notice is given. Special tours for visually impaired visitors can also be arranged with two weeks' notice.
The Pentagon Tour for our group is presented in English.
No photographs may be taken. No video cameras, tape recorders, or any other kind of electronic recording device is permitted at any time.
A security briefing is provided prior to the beginning of every tour, and all visitors must pass through a security scanning device similar to those found at airport security checkpoints.
Everyone must arrive by 2 PM and we should use Metro as there will be no parking there.
Only those who are on the confirmation letter and who provided the required data may attend.
All purses carried into the Pentagon are subject to search.
The following items are prohibited inside the building: Weapons of any sort (i.e. knives, box cutters, mace, pepper spray, etc) that may cause bodily harm and large bags (i.e. knapsacks, camera bags, backpacks, and shopping bags, etc).
The following items are not prohibited inside the building, but cannot be used along the tour route: Electronic devices (i.e. cell phones, picture or video cameras, PDAs, blackberries, laptops, etc) and tobacco products. But be advised that if you bring these items it will slow down our processing into the building.
Proper picture identification (ID) must be presented to building security.
There is no photography allowed inside and outside of the Pentagon.
Tour groups must keep up with the tour pace, and keep to the center of the corridor to allow Pentagon personnel to pass by on either side.
Food and beverages are not permitted on the tour.
Any violation of these security measures will cause the tour to be terminated.
Here's a physical description of the Pentagon: It is a five sided, five story (plus two basements) building containing a large central courtyard and five concentric rings of offices.
Floors: Numbered 1 through 5, except for the basements, which are labeled M (for Mezzanine) and B (for Basement). Note that most people would think of the second floor of the Pentagon as its "main" floor.
Concentric rings: Labeled A (innermost) through E (outermost) except in the basement, where there are also ring segments labeled F and G. "E" Ring offices are the only ones with outside views and are generally occupied by senior officials.
Office numbers: 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).
Radial corridors: Numbered 1 through 10, starting with the radial corridor off the south end of the concourse.
Thus office number 3E210 is on the third floor, in the E Ring, about two tenths of the way around the E Ring in the clockwise direction, starting from the middle of the concourse. The radial corridors go between the concentric rings (and thus radiate outward from the central courtyard) and are found where two adjacent sides of the building come together. Oddly enough, the radial corridor numbering and the room numbering are connected. For instance, if you walk down corridor 7 to its intersection with the D Ring, you will find that offices on the D Ring to your left are numbered in the seven hundreds and that offices on the D Ring to your right are numbered in the seven hundreds.
The Concourse: The Concourse is on the second floor of the Pentagon. It sits where the E Ring would be on the southeast side of the building. There is a large Metrobus station about 200 yards outside the building next to the Concourse. The top of the escalators to the Pentagon Metrorail station is about 100 yards from the Concourse building entrance. This entrance is now the main entrance for visitors to the Pentagon. The Concourse itself is a mini-shopping mall located inside the Pentagon.
And 4,500 cups of coffee are consumed daily at the Pentagon!
Exactly 60 years to the day after the groundbreaking ceremony, the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon after being hijacked, killing all aboard as well as over a hundred people within the Pentagon. The flight penetrated three of the five rings of the Pentagon. Because the affected area was under renovation at the time, several offices were unoccupied, sparing many lives. The aircraft struck on the edge between two sections—one of which had just finished being upgraded.
"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended... make no mistake, we will show the world that we will pass this test." - George W. Bush