Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pentagon Gouge: CAC Cards

So today I got my new CAC card (CAC = Common Access Card, the new high-tech version of the military ID card - wikipedia article). I knew that you could get them at the Pentagon badging office just inside the Metro entrance or at the OPNAV Staff Support office. The Pentagon badging office ALWAYS has a LOOOOOONG line of people waiting for CAC cards, so I opted for the OPNAV Staff Support office.

Actually, I tried to go yesterday but discovered they were closed for training on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1245-1415.

Lesson Learned #1: Know the hours of the office you are going to, and call ahead to verify the CAC card machine is working. I have walked past the office and noticed on occasion there will be a sign taped outside the door saying the machine is down, and it would suck to go out of your way to go get your CAC card just to discover the machine is down.

I went back again today, and it is by no means a fast process. Something about the bandwidth required to encrypt the contents of your CAC card means it takes at least 20 minutes to write your card. I arrived and signed-in at 1303, and they called my name at 1354. I walked out of the office with my shiny new CAC card at 1415.

Lesson Learned #2: Plan on being there a while, bring a book (or smart phone) to read.

After I complained on Facebook about how long I was waiting, a shipmate of mine responded that I should have gone to location X because I can make an appointment there. Unfortunately, at the OPNAV Staff Support office, they only make reservations for flag officers. Another friend responded that she went to location Y because she heard it was faster there. I didn't know any of these other locations existed.

So while I was getting my new CAC card, I asked where I could go to get my wife's new military dependent ID, and the nice petty officer working the front desk in the office handed me a flyer that lists several locations in the DC area where you can go for military ID cards (both CAC and dependent IDs).

Lesson Learned #3: There are MANY places around the National Capital Region for you to go get a CAC or dependent ID card. For the benefit of the rest of you who might need to renew your spouse's military ID or get a new CAC card due to a promotion, I thought I would share with you the list of locations they provided me when I visited the OPNAV Staff Support office today. Here they are:

PSD WASHINGTON (202) 433-4012
Mon-Thu 0630-1700, Fri 0630-1600
Bldg 92 (basement) 235 Wick Drive SW, Washington, DC 20373

ANDREWS AFB (301) 981-2276
Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri 0900-1600, Tue 0900-1800
Bldg 1414, 1st Floor, Andrews AFB, Camp Springs, MD 20762

ARMY CRYSTAL CITY NATIONAL CENTER 3 (703) 602-1135
Mon-Fri walk-ins from 0700-0730, 1200-1230, 1500-1530
Appointments for all other times
2531 Crystal City Ave 22306, 8th Floor

BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL (301) 295-0103
Mon-Fri 0700-1600
Detachment Bldg 8, Room 2213, 2nd Floor

BOLLING AFB (202) 404-3281/82
Mon-Fri 0730-1530
110 Luke Ave, Bldg 5681 Suite 220

FORT BELVOIR ARMY (703) 805-3405/5578
Mon-Fri 0730-1530
Bldg 213 20th Street Main Post

FORT MEADE ARMY (301) 677-9586
Mon-Fri 0730-1530, LAST CAC at 1300
2234 Huber Road, Fort Meade

FORT MYER (703) 696-3030
Mon-Fri 0800-1400 for last CAC / 1530 for last Dependent / Retired ID
Bldg 202 (Basement behind Officers Club), Fort Myer, VA

HQ USMC HENDERSON HALL (703) 614-7152
Mon-Fri 0800-1530 (closed for lunch at 1030-1130)
1555 Southgate Road, Bldg 29 Room 300

PENTAGON AIR FORCE (703) 697-4110
Mon-Fri 0730-1630
Only USAF Civilian CACs
Room 5A282

PENTAGON MASS CAC OFFICE (703) 697-9327/2266
Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri 0800-1600, Wed 0830-1530, LAST CAC AT 1530
NO DEPENDENT OR RETIREE ID CARDS
Room 1F1084 (inside Metro Entrance)

PENTAGON NAVY OPNAV STAFF SUPORT (703) 697-2806/6858
Mon-Fri 0800-1545, Closed for Training Tues & Thurs 1245-1415
Room 5A514A

QUANTICO MARINE BASE (703) 784-2758/2750/2759
Mon-Fri 0700-1630
102 Barnett Ave, Quantico, VA

WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER (202) 782-7758
Mon-Fri 0800-1200 (closed for lunch) 1300-1600
6825 16th Street NW, Washington, DC
Bldg 11, Room 1-86

5 comments:

Chap said...

You know, maybe you'd be a good contributor to the new edition of "Assignment: Pentagon"!

Oz said...

Lesson learned here, too. When I got promoted I burned the entire afternoon getting my new ID because the office at NBK Bremerton has only one computer set up for CACs. I got there at 1300, they closed the line at 1330, and I was seen at 1600.

Bring something to do. The most entertaining thing they had there was the 2007 Cabela's catalogue.

blunoz said...

I don't know Chap. "Assignment: Pentagon" seemed awfully like a formally coordinated, vetted, and approved educational type of document. I tend to write more of the informal, not corporately approved gouge. Maybe if someone comes up with an "idiot's guide to working in the Pentagon" or "Pentagon for Dummies."

Oz - I hear ya man. There is NOTHING entertaining to read in the office where I waited. I normally don't carry my personal blackberry around with me, but I took it to this appointment so I could browse the web, read blogs, etc while I waited.

Ann said...

Thanks this is great info!!

Kind regards,
Ann (trading a normal CAC for an international CAC to go to Afghansitan!)

eacasey6 said...

First day stumbling around the Pentagon today - your gouge is helpful - Thanks!