On May 2, 2011, the day after the death of Osama bin Laden, a group of IWP students and interns visited the Pentagon. The visit was hosted by Navy Captain Daniel Deaton, Deputy Joint Staff Chaplain, and organized by Linda Strating, IWP Director of Professional Affiliations. The purpose of the visit was to interact with key personnel during an insider's tour, including select staff members in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
The historical significance of the day, however, was constantly on everybody's mind, especially when the group toured the chapel, which marked the impact point of the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. Chaplain Deaton was also part of the spiritual team which was called in to help manage and assess damage to humans as he comforted those who lost peers, colleagues, and family members. He described some of these experiences to the group.
Chaplain Deaton also outlined the roles of everyone who works in senior leadership in the Pentagon, including the Secretary of Defense's staff and the various combatant commanders.
Another profound conversation occurred during a forty-minute briefing with Air Force Lt. Gen. Paul J. Selva, the Chairman's liaison with the Department of State and the military escort for the Secretary of State for her travels throughout the Middle East. In addition to traveling throughout the region with her on a regular basis, he is also responsible for Israeli-Palestine peace progress visits one week out of every month.
He gave a concise brief on the nature of evolving events by country, and compared and contrasted the operational styles of Dr. Condoleeza Rice and Mrs. Hillary Clinton. He took many questions from the students, and offered his time for photo opportunities.
The group also visited the media room of the Secretary of Defense, and toured the most historically significant hallways throughout the building, including those which honored military leaders like MacArthur and Eisenhower.
It was apparent to everyone that many of the folks we saw there had been there all night in light of the news about Osama bin Laden, especially those who serve the Chairman in uniform.
Please click here to see pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thejointstaff/5680579201/in/set-72157626507829045/
Air Force Lt. Gen Paul J. Selva, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke and posed with students/interns from The Institute of World Politics at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2011.
(DOD Photographs By: Staff Sgt Sun L. Vega, Joint Staff)