Private Guided Tour of the Pentagon

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

Gender

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:

http://dc.about.com/od/shoppingmalls/a/FashionCtrPenta.htm

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

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

Foreign passport


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.

Language Requirements

The Pentagon Tour for our group is presented in English.

Recording Devices

No photographs may be taken.  No video cameras, tape recorders, or any other kind of electronic recording device is permitted at any time.

Security Briefing

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.

Security guidelines:

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

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent, informative, educational, and great company.......

    May 6

  • Cindy G

    Bob, you're a gem! A great experience to walk the halls of the inner Pentagon, learn more about it, see both the inside and outside memorials of 9/11, and experience it with such a great group of people. Appreciate all the work you put in to get this organized :)!

    2 · May 6

  • Gari

    Educational interesting and moving. Thank you Bob for all you do for us!

    1 · May 6

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob- You might be the only five star event host there is. You said it so well. Thank you very much for this wonderful and emotional event. I wish we could have spent much more time there. It was an honor to walk the halls and visit such an icon of America.

    1 · May 6

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Bob for putting this tour together for us. I am sure we will never forget it! Very moving.

    1 · May 6

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob, I really enjoyed this tour, very educational, a little fast but....thanks for this opportunity.......

    2 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very interesting and emotional tour. Thanks Bob for organizing it

    1 · May 5

  • Valerie

    Lovely tour, thank you Bob so much for organising and all the work you did to make this happen.

    1 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks, Bob, for all your time and effort. It was a great tour - learned so much about the pentagon. Thank you!

    1 · May 5

  • Dawn

    So very nice, thank you Bob. It was wonderful.

    1 · May 5

  • Bob

    I learned a lot while there. Yes, we did move pretty quickly on the tour, and we got only a small sampling of what is in that huge building of more than 30,000 people. If we had actually walked all the open corridors, that would have totaled 17.5 miles. So we only walked 1.5 miles, yet got a continuous narration from a reverse walking expert! We definitely saw one of the most emotional areas of the Pentagon, dedicated to those who perished on that fateful morning of September 11th. But what was most important and apparent was to have witnessed the pride of those young men and women when they spoke of the history of the Pentagon, through the wars, and what it all means to them. They are there for each of us. Any of them could be called up at a moment's notice and asked to put himself or herself in harm's way to protect us. There is no greater sacrifice than that. Thank you all for joining me today.

    4 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fun tour of the Pentagon. Thank you Bob.

    1 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob, this was great and really appreciate all your effort. You always go the extra mile to get us all the details. I only wish we had some time to read through some of the displays. Pressures off, you can relax now!

    May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you, Bob!

    1 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Bob for the work involved in getting our group approved. It is too bad we went so fast during the tour.

    1 · May 5

  • Dina D.

    Ver!!y well organized. Thank you Bob

    1 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks again Bob, it was terrific!

    1 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Bob!

    1 · May 5

  • Pat R

    I only wish we could have slowed down enough to study all the fascinating exhibits along the corridors!

    2 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Bob!

    2 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was impressive.

    1 · May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    In prescreening line

    May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Not sure where the group is. In the Pre-screening line at Metro

    May 5

    • A former member
      A former member

      Doing good. There is a waiting area on your left when you come out of screening room.

      May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    On the metro

    May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    On my way - at metro center

    May 5

  • Bob

    I am in the PC mall at Panera Bread eating until 1:30 PM.

    2 · May 5

    • Bob

      I will be outside of the gate of the Pentagon Metro.

      1 · May 5

    • Gari

      Already thru prescreening and inside VC.

      May 5

  • Barbara

    Bob, I just saw in the write-up that this is only for US citizens? No chance for non-US passport holders?

    February 20, 2014

    • Bob

      I was just told that for non-citizens instead of a Social Secirity Number provide your Passport Number.

      February 20, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I am on my way now Bob, see you soon...

      May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am really sorry but I have an out of town candidate who has a final interview with one of my clients this afternoon and I have been asked to meet with him prior to his afternoon interview. Unfortunately I am going to have to bow out of the Pentagon tour. Duty calls. Very, very sorry about this.

    May 5

  • Bob

    Ours is the last tour of the day, as we are a big group. We should be able to get a Marine escort, and the walk will be about one and a half miles; we have to stay together. No photographs may be taken. When we walk in the hallways, we should walk to the sides to allow the personnel access in the middle of the hallways. You may bring in purses and wallets, but they may be searched. You may not bring in: weapons of any kind (guns, knives or nail clippers or box cutters regardless of size, pepper sprays, mace, etc.), knapsacks, backpacks, boxes, or shopping bags. You may bring in cellular phones or PDAs as well as tobacco products, but they may not be used. You may not bring in food or beverages.

    April 29

    • Bob

      Please make sure you all follow the security requirements delineated herein and in the activity narrative.

      May 5

  • A former member
    A former member

    Tomorrow's the big day! I just want to thank you in advance, Bob, for offering us such a special opportunity! Your hard work is so very much appreciated!

    1 · May 4

    • Bob

      I hope they are ready for our posse! And thanks......

      May 4

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately, I can't attend. I'm out of town and will not make it back in time for the tour. Have a great time!

    May 4

  • Bob

    Please wear comfortable walking shoes, and smart casual or business casual (what you would wear in a conservative office).

    May 4

  • Bob

    One current government-issued photo ID will be required, and your state-issued driver's license will suffice. Those of you who provided the passport data as a foreign national, bring that passport as well as your driver's license. Be there before 2 PM, as our group is large and the check-in will take some time. The Pentagon Tour window of the Pentagon Visitor's Center will be in front of you and to the left as you exit the Pentagon Metro station. Present your ID to the Pentagon police stationed there; I will be there. We will then get a security briefing and go through a scanning device. I am at[masked], but I will turn off my cellular phone at 2 PM.

    April 29

    • Bob

      Please be on time, before 2 PM, as it should be crowded. Have lunch in the area if you wish, but be at the Pentagon Visitor's Center located at the Pentagon Metro before 2 PM.

      May 2

  • Bob

    I just had my (what I hope to be) final conference with the Pentagon security office. Everyone on the RSVP list has been "Approved and cleared for entrance with no additional information required or pending." I will bring the formal letter I just received from DOD with each person's name and its adjudicated status with me on Monday to show to the Pentagon Police stationed at the entrance. Please read and understand and abide by everything written in this entire activity narrative as well as in the comments. If you have questions, write to me between now and Sunday night. I did my part, now you must do yours. If you fail to follow the strict requirements for admission, and you are denied access, to locate the person responsible find the nearest full-length mirror. Godspeed to all.

    1 · May 1

    • Elizabeth

      Bob, I had planned to take a day of vacation to make the tour but just learned that I will have to work Monday to meet a deadline. Bummed - I was really looking forward to it. :(

      May 2

    • Bob

      Sorry to hear that, Elizabeth......

      May 2

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob, thank you so much for all your hard work on this. It is on my bucket list but I got a call today for an interview at the same time and I can't pass it up. Thanks again for all you do!

    1 · April 30

    • Bob

      Thanks, and good luck on your interview!

      1 · April 30

  • Richard

    Bob, I'm so sorry to have to cancel out of this event, especially with such late notice. I unexpectedly and unavoidably have to be out of town next week. I regret that I will miss this event, and regret that someone else won't be able take my spot.

    April 30

    • Bob

      No problem, Richard. Thanks for letting me know.

      April 30

  • Suzann D

    i have to decline due to mandatory work meeting. so much for a vacation 1/2 day! have fun.

    April 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live in the Merrifield area not far from the Dunn Loring Metro (Orange Line) if anyone wants to carpool, or if you live close by we can Metro together. Let me know.

    April 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Cynthia,tried emailing you but it appears you are away from your office....call me or text me at[masked] anytime

    April 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live in Centreville anyone want carpool?

    April 26, 2014

  • cynthia t

    Dannette, i live in Manassas. would you email me and we can figure out whether to take metro or drive. [masked]

    April 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Asking again.....Anyone carpooling from Woodbridge area or it's close proximity?please

    April 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is anybody carpooling?

    April 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Read the section titled "Checking in for our tour" in the description of this event. In short: Meet at Pentagon Metro no later than 2 PM to check in for the 3 pm tour.

      April 24, 2014

    • Bob

      Thanks, Steve. It is very important that attendees read all the directions in the above activity narrative. I will send out an email with any last-minute information as we get closer to the event date, but for now attendees should read and understand what I wrote.

      1 · April 24, 2014

  • Bob

    Here is the latest update. I just had a conference with the security officer, and I was notified that we should all be considered confirmed unless told otherwise between now and the day before the tour. Remember that the personal information I provided was a copy-and-paste job of what I was given by each member. I will provide all attendees with the latest security requirements soon. Please remember that they are very strict about the security measures because of events that have occurred at military bases. For example , because of where we will be walking, you cannot bring in knapsacks or shopping bags or camera bags, but you can bring in a cellular phone or a camera but they cannot be used. Each of us will need two forms of ID, one of which must be a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license). If you have any questions, please send me an email.

    April 21, 2014

  • Bob

    We are all still pending for the clearance. I will check it daily, and update it as needed. I am sorry it is taking so long, but it is completely out of my hands.

    April 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob, we can or cannot take our cellphones?

    April 17, 2014

    • Bob

      You can bring it in but you may not use it.

      April 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob, I hate to cancel, but I just got the opportunity to do an even larger "Bucket List" activity -- flying a fighter jet -- in New Mexico on 5/6. Had to jump on it. I'm sure the tour will be great and hate to miss it. Thank you.

    1 · April 16, 2014

    • Bob

      Thanks for the heads up, Scott. If you are flying the L39 out of Santa Fe, that goes to a force of 6 Gs – 6 times your weight. You can let me know offline......

      April 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Congrats Scott.

      April 17, 2014

  • Bob

    I just looked at our background check status with DOD, and we are all listed as "Pending" (including the one for me). As soon as the adjudications are made, I will let everyone know. I realize that this is taking much time, but we are a rather large group, and the checks are being made. What are they doing? Everyone with DHS. Then local law enforcement checks in your home town, and finally national agency checks using our SSN. And in the case of the foreign nationals, CIA and State Department BOLOS. Much of the reason for the detailed security checks is due to the recent events that have taken place at military bases.

    April 15, 2014

  • Bob

    In case folks are wondering, the background checks are still pending. And this us why there cannot be a waiting list, given the time that it takes them to do this task.

    March 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bob,I did mine,could you let me know if everything cleared and good to go?

    1 · February 26, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Bob, you are a gem..... See you then...later will check for a carpool....

      February 26, 2014

    • Bob

      By the way, your legal name is written as Dannette Blackwood.

      February 26, 2014

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