A symbol of America's military forces, the Pentagon is a five-sided building that serves as the headquarters for the U.S. Department of Defense. In addition, it is a testament to thousands of Americans both in and out of uniform who strive to defend the nation.
It was constructed at the start of World War II in order to bring all offices of what was-- then termed--the Department of War together into a single building. The Pentagon now contains offices for the departments of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, and for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Since its completion, US military leaders there have played critical roles in American foreign policy and military operations abroad--from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Iraq Wars.
In 1970, the so called "Pentagon Papers" were leaked to US newspapers. Published exerts of the papers documented America's decades-long
During the Vietnam War and the Cold War, the building and its grounds were the sight of several anti-war and peace protests.
On September 11th, 2001, the structure sustained severe fire damage to its western side after terrorists crashed a jetliner into it. A memorial to those victims killed in the plane and in the building was created nearby to honor the date and their memory.
In 2011, major renovations to the entire building were completed to modernize its interior and security systems. You can tour the inside of the Pentagon through its official visitors program and the grounds of its nearby memorial.
The number for the Pentagon’s switchboard is 703-545-6700.
To reach the Office of Public Communication, call 703-428-0711.