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The headquarters of the United States Department of Defense lies on the west bank of the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, directly across from Washington, D.C.
Built in the form of a pentagon (hence the name), the building's five concentric rings are connected by 10 spokelike corridors. It has five floors, a mezzanine, and a basement. The building covers 29 acres and has 3,705,793 square feet of office and other space, making it the largest office building in the United States. In fact, it is so large that it even has its own Zip Code and post office. The building's layout is so efficient, however, that it takes only seven minutes for the average person to walk between any two points in the building.
The concept of bringing all the various offices within the War Department into a single building was first proposed by Brigadier General Brehon B. Sommervell, Chief of the Construction Division of the Office of the Quartermaster General, in mid-July 1941. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on September 11, 1941, just three months before the United States was drawn into World War II. Construction pushed on during the war, and the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943, nearly sixteen months to the day after the groundbreaking. The building cost $83,000,000 to construct.
Facts and Figures
Employees ~23,000, both
military and civilian, plus ~3,000 non-defense support
Library >> Military Science >> Armies
This page was last updated on 11/28/2017.