The essential guide to working in the Pentagon


Assignment: Pentagon

How to Excel in a Bureaucracy, 4th Edition

288 pages; 6" x 9"

$22.95   $18.36
Available: June 2007
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Since the first edition of Assignment: Pentagon was published in 1988, great changes have occurred in the international environment, the application of U.S. national security strategy, and the manner in which the Pentagon functions. Now in its fourth printing and with a coauthor to lend a different perspective, Assignment: Pentagon remains the best book for anyone who works for the Pentagon, or for any big bureaucracy for that matter.

Eminently readable, Assignment: Pentagon is the essential guide for the newly assigned military person, fresh civilian, and interested outsider to the Pentagon’s informal set of arrangements, networks, and functions that operate in the service and joint service world. From the type of wristwatch one needs to how to succeed on the Joint Staff, the book delivers a wealth of practical advice and helpful hints about surviving the pressures and problems of working in “The Building.” If you’ve been assigned to the Pentagon or are starting work for any large company, you need Assignment: Pentagon.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)

Maj. Gen. Perry M. Smith worked in the Pentagon for many years and logged extensive operational and leadership experience. He flew more than 180 combat missions during the Vietnam War, including 50 over North Vietnam, and later commanded a wing of F-15s in Germany. He has frequently appeared as a military analyst on CBS, CNN, and National Public Radio.

Colonel Daniel M. Gerstein has served in combat, peace, and humanitarian operations on four continents during his twenty-six-year Army career. In 2004-5, he served as a Military Fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of numerous publications; his most recent book is Securing America’s Future: National Strategy in the Information Age. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.


"A wealth of practical information."
Marine Corps Gazette

"The kind of information you'd get in an informal conversation with an old Pentagon hand."
Armed Forces Journal International

"All military services should add it to their recommended reading lists."
Naval Institute Proceedings


“Loaded with anecdotes, management and leadership principles, and get-ahead techniques that can be applied effectively to private as well as public service.”
Airpower Journal

“Should be stamped ‘MUST READ’ and provided to every person headed for a job in the Pentagon.”
Gen. John A. Wickham, USA (Ret.)

“Unlocks the language and customs of The Building.”

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