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The Pentagon has a 5 acre "No Hat - No Salute Zone" (that's "cover" to you Naval-types), called the courtyard. That is the area at the center of the building inside the A-ring. There's another No Hat - No Salute Zone leading from one of the exits, across the bridge to the Pentagon Athletic Club (better known as the POAC).

The reason for the zones is that people routinely cross these areas, especially the courtyard, and you don't have to remember to take your hat with you when you leave the office. Going across the courtyard is the shortest route if you've got to go from one side of the building to the other. The courtyard also has a cafe in the center (used to be called Ground Zero Cafe) and that's one of the smoking zones. If folks had to salute out there, there'd be much confusion whether you have to stop and salute or not.

Essentially, we think of it as if we were indoors. Saves a lot of hassle and keeps things simple.

BTW, while the search & rescue was going on at the Pentagon in September and October, the area out in the parking lot around the Red Cross Compound where there was food and rest, was also so designated.

Enjoy the break!
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