The AOC could be a strange place at times. In December 1968, I saw accused mass murderer Lieutenant William “Rusty” Calley, Jr. in the AOC. I had my desk at the time in the AOC and one day after lunch, as I came in past the security desk at the entrance and entered the complex, I happened to glance to my left into the anteroom. There looking very much alone, sitting by himself at a small table, was Calley. I recognized him immediately. His time in Vietnam had landed him on the cover of both Time and Newsweek that week. With the tragic My Lai Massacre all over the press, he had been sequestered for interrogation by the Army in the safest out of the way spot it could find for him, the AOC. Sometime in 1969 before I got my office in the AOC, CIAD had moved from our windowless quarters next to the Northern Virginia Community College’s automobile shop to more upscale quarters, the Hoffman Building high rise office building in Alexandria, Virginia.
Hoffman Building. Alexandria, VA
This building had plenty of light, was near the beltway, and was close to the Wilson Bridge over the Potomac. While I had a desk there for the duration, I was spending most of my time in either the AOC or another Pentagon office.
Another office at the Pentagon that I rotated through daily was entered through a nondescript door on a busy corridor on one of the Pentagon’s outer rings. I was moving up in the world. Having started in OACSI’s lowly assignment office, I had moved up to a first-class basement duplex with the AOC. Now I had been promoted part of the day to an above ground cubby hole in one of the prestigious outer rings.
In this easily overlooked spot in a highly trafficked hall, one nondescript door led to a small reception area. I regularly had on a neck chain my Army dog tags, my Pentagon ID, my Hoffman Building ID, my AOC ID, and an ID for the area behind the door. Behind the door’s guard was an inner sanctum of windowless offices. This space was where highly compartmentalized, secret intelligence information collected by various foreign and domestic intelligence agencies could be viewed. It was interesting stuff to plough through daily, but rarely bore directly on my main job of preparing and delivering written and oral briefings on the likelihood of demonstrations or civil disturbances involving the Army.