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Base History \ Arrival

Home to Department of Defense Headquarters, the Pentagon is one of the world's largest office buildings. It is located in Arlington, VA, right across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.  The Pentagon is virtually a city in itself with over 23,000 employees, both military and civilian, assigned. It has 200 acres of lawn, 16 parking lots, 131 stairways and 19 escalators, a number of food and shopping vendors, dry cleaners and banking facilities. The building has approximately 17.5 miles of corridors.

The National Capital Region (NCR) is a high cost of living area.  Many people choose to live further away in Virginia or Maryland and commute to work at the Pentagon. Pentagon Operator:  703-697-1201, DSN: 312-227-1201.

For more specific information on working at the Pentagon, visit their homepage.


The Pentagon was conceived at the request of Brigadier General Brehon B. Sommervell, Chief of the Construction Division of the Office of the Quartermaster General, on a weekend in mid-July 1941. The purpose was to provide a temporary solution to the War Department’s critical shortage of space. Congress, cautious about the size of the expenditure and the enormity of the project, but anxious about events in Europe and the Far East that could require U.S. military intervention, appropriated the funds necessary to construct the War Department’s new home (approximately $83 million) on August 14, 1941. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on September 11, 1941.


The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DoD).  As a symbol of the U.S. military, the “Pentagon” is often used metonymically to refer to DoD rather than the building itself.  It is the largest office building by floor area. 

Population Served

The Pentagon houses approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and approximately 3,000 non-defense support personnel.


DoD Bus Service

The Department of Defense has established a DoD bus service that operates during normal duty hours. The buses are available for use by DoD personnel on official business. The service is free and all DoD installations or activities in the metropolitan Washington area may be reached by one or more of the lines. A complete schedule is available at the information booth on the Concourse, at the Pentagon DoD bus stops at South parking, by calling 703-571-2019 or by visiting the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall website and clicking on the “Mass Transit” link located under "Getting Around" on the left side of the home page. (Note: Due to security issues, users will need a CAC to obtain the schedule from the website.)

Myer Flyer Bus Service

A shuttle bus, the Myer Flyer, offers a work-run service between the Pentagon and Fort Myer during rush hours only.  In the morning, the bus runs from 5:15 a.m. until 8:00 a.m.  During the afternoon rush hour, the bus runs from 4:25 p.m. until 6:35 p.m. The schedule and a map of the bus stops can be found on the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall homepage under the “Mass Transit” link.

Homes Near Base

No listings found for Pentagon.