On October 8th, the interns at The Institute of World Politics visited the Pentagon for an incredibly informative tour. With impressive historical insight and knowledge of the Pentagon, Mr. Randy Odom provided the interns with a behind-the-scenes, up-close look at the U.S. Department of Defense. Mr. Odom, the Director of Army Executive Outreach for the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, led the group through the many corridors and hallways at the Pentagon which in total measure to about 17.5 miles.
Having served an extensive career in the Army before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Odom showed the interns through the Department of the Army; each hall was lined with historical displays of different military campaigns and influential leaders. He provided detailed backgrounds of the Army’s role in early American wars, such as the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Moving forward, the interns were able to see some of the highlights for visitors at the Pentagon, including Saddam Hussein’s AK-47 made out of gold featured in the Defense Intelligence Agency corridor, and also the portion of the Pentagon hit by the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
Overall, the tour gave IWP interns a greater understanding of the complexities of the Department of Defense and the value of its work.