Man surprised to discover the Pentagon is technologically backwards

| September 1, 2020

John Kroger, former Attorney General of Oregon and former president of Reed College, most recently served as the first “Chief Learning Officer” for the US Navy. He was in that role until recently, having taken the position at it’s creation last October.

Kroger, a former Marine, has some legitimate critiques on the way briefings are conducted, as well as the needless frequency of meetings where we only update people on project status.

The rest of Kroger’s opinion piece is that the military is woefully behind the rest of the corporate and educational world since they *gasp* use hard lines. Oh the horror. I honestly thought this was coming from a Millenial.

There’s no WiFi, so he was forced to plug his computer into the wall like some sort of caveman. Cell phones get poor reception in the building. Neither of those should be surprising to him. WiFi is a major security concern and the Pentagon is made entirely of reinforced concrete, making wireless signals problematic.


Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Big Pentagon, Navy

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OH, golly, is this someone with a spoiled brat “I want my WIFI and I want it now!!!!!” attitude?

And here, I was thinking about getting a landline installed this winter, as a justincase the Wiffy signal relays get geese frozen to them or something.

MI Ranger

I am confused, with WiFi he would get about 1/5th the bandwidth he has with basic copper LAN. Its not like the Pentagon offices are big. At least they didn’t give him a zero client workstation that forgets where it is at every couple days and shuts off randomly!

Jus Bill

They should have, if he whines about cell coverage.


He thinks land-nav means using Uber and his phone GPS.


He played the diversity card in his article… and complained about the lifers in uniform as Civil Servants.


Don’t forget who they get their jollies with. Skin color and fudge-packery really matter to bullets and missiles, you know.


Last time I checked, exposure to radio frequencies *could* have negative effects.
Also, stfu and deal with it.
Adapt and overcome, Douche-ine.


WiFi can be intercepted and decoded (if they even bother encoding the signal).

Signals sent by copper or fiber-optic are not so easy to intercept.

Suck it up, buttercup.

Green Thumb


Jus Bill

The Pen is pretty much all fiber…


All the better for them, then.

I’m still DSL – one step up from dial-up, but bottom of the heap nonetheless. One of the very few drawbacks to living in the woods.


Beats satellite only. $200/mo for ‘unlimited’ data… but you max out at maybe 30 meg downloads, 5 meg uploads, and if you use more than 100 Gb a month, they throttle you back to 5 Mb downloads.


Younguns take internet security and benign foreign actors for granted.


Does he think he’s the first one to think that it would be nice to have WiFi? I was a commmo from 2004-2019 so I can assure you that people before him have wondered that aloud and frequently. I guess he can take it up the J6 chain if he really likes, but I imagine Lt Gen. Bradford J. Shwedo (Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber, Chief Information Officer (CIO), J6) will go tell him to where he can email his request. . .


Yeah, but since land lines are mostly used by people out in the sticks – mostly – nobody does wiretaps like the FBI used to do during the Vietnam War, and the building’s internal structural strength, steel reinforcement, interferes with the Wiffy signals, anyway.

The Other Whitey

Wow, so the omniscient “mission control” room with wall-to-wall screens covered in real-time satellite imagery anywhere of in the world, foolproof communication reaching anywhere in the world, spymasters who recognize the faces of random Bumfuckistani thugs, and a database that instantly pulls up the complete life story of said Bumfuckistani thugs…isn’t real? Wow, who would’ve guessed that Hollywood is full of shit?


Slow Joe


OPSEC. Nobody answer this blatant attempt by TOW to confirm or deny the capabilities of a tactical operations center or higher.

The enemy is watching.


You were born lacking the sarcasm gene, weren’t you.

MI Ranger

Heck no! Now we do it on our Android Smartphone!!!


Using TikToc for the PowerPoint presentations? /s


I find this to be rather quizzical: “…has left us with an obsolete and highly unreliable master network and over 140 subsidiary legacy networks, most of which are independent and cannot connect or talk to one another. This IT quagmire puts national security at risk in an age in which all of our communications, navigation, and weapons systems rely on fast, reliable and secure networking. This problem will only escalate …”

Is this bloke even vaguely aware that the senior people working at that place all come from a tech-loaded environment, just like he did? And is he even vaguely aware that lack of high end electronics can be a blessing, whether he likes it or not?

What a spoiled brat!!!! I wonder if he’s going to beat his little fists and feets on the carpeting and throw a tantrum if he can’t have “his way”.

Jus Bill

When I worked there we got one of those a month. Word will come from the E Ring soon enough to STFU.


the idiot referred to the hardware (aircraft etc) as “toys”.

George V

The inability to easily connect from one hardwire network to another? Back in my sales days we would say “That’s not a problem, that’s a feature!”

Sounds to me like a good way to slow down the bad guys.


In 15 of the last 16 years since I retired from Active duty I have worked in facilities that don’t even permit cell phones, fit bits, etc inside them. Laptops entering the buildings must have their wireless disabled. That the basic buildings not to mention things like SCIFs, lbs, etc.

If you remember the 9/11 attack on the puzzle palace, the building was going through staged renovations that included hardening that would aggravate things like WiFi over and above the basic original reinforced concrete construction. That renovation was given some credit for the damage not being worse.

Trent Klug

I met John Kroger when he was Oregon’s Attorney General. He was smarmy, but seemed generally happy to attend and meet the new officers at the state OCS graduation ceremony.

Other than that, I have little to no opinion of him. He’s checked all the progressive blocks: president of a overly radical private college, harvard lecturer, and a no name no power space holder in the Pentagon. Just the perfect progressive for appointing to higher positions of control.

USMC Steve

Listen, when a Marine tells you your shit is primitive, listen to them. We wrote the book on primitive.

Green Thumb


I guess he was not a graduate of the new Marine Corp like MAJ Powers.

Green Thumb

Green Thumb

I meant to play the clip with Gunny, Lt. Ring and MAJ Powers.

5th/77th FA

This one GT?



I feel certain the Pentagon is up to CAT 6 or even CAT 6E for their internet. Hard lines are far, far easier to keep secure than cell or WIFI. So if anyone is ‘behind the curve” it is John Kroger. I think a trip to Barnes and Noble for a copy in “Internet Security For Dummies” would help him a great deal.


He seems to want a system like the one that gave Bradley Manning, a lowly E4 in a Brigade level HQ in the middle of nowhere access to damn near everything.


And he threw his little leaking fit out of butthurt after his NCO whupped his ass when he tried to go all Billy Badass and flip over a table on her.


Who is the “her” in that comment?

Dennis - not chevy

He reminds me of one of my young relations. The young’un has a BS in some sort of computer engineering and bad mouths folks every time they use an incorrect term, e.g. uploading instead of downloading. The real problem lies in the young’un has no knowledge of the real world, how things that aren’t computers work, when computers are necessary and when they’re not, and what and why computer security is important.


The most egregious situation in the Pentagon, when I visited 20 years ago, was the severe lack of Dr Pepper in the vending machines.

And this, was with a Texan in the White House!


Jus Bill

The Pen is pretty much all fiber…

5th/77th FA

Oh screw you, you whiney ass punk, piece of sh^t (wappos)! You don’t deserve the name of Kroger, or to be a former Marine. Maybe the Navy took your wappos self because you thought you would be, “not at the pier”, or “underway”! I doubt if you could guard a Turkish whore house much less do anything worthwhile inside of it. I would tell you to go restock the shelves, but you may become distracted in the produce aisle by the cucumbers, or may start “tossing salads”!

Here’s the story of a real man named Kroger. 2LT Neil Allen Kroger. He was a Soldier Once…and young. He died a Warrior’s Death, facing the enemy, alongside his Men. And he wasn’t bitching about the equipment he had to work with. I was having a fairly good day til I read this. Eat a bag of dicks mofo. You are not worthy to even lick duck crap off the bottom of 2LT Neil Kroger’s boots.

Gerry Owen!

William Odle

“Former” Marine?


Fifth Floor A Ring has best reception. I know; I used to work there. No WiFi, tho.


Oh, no, he can’t use WhatsApp and Tik-Tok on his iPhone in the SCIF– like, eww!

Ex Coelis

The security measures that the Pentagon(Five-sided-puzzle-palace?) is presciently employing is what’s known in my GeEk world as a type of ‘cold-gapping’. Not having/using Wi-Fi capability = good OPSEC. Can’t electronically ‘sniff’ when there’s nothing bandwidth-wise to try and sniff… Dead air.
My fondest and most favourite recollection of my visit to the Pentagon – overhearing part of a passing conversation ‘Secrets are not our concern, keep them is’.
P.S. Man! Dat place HUGE an unlike sniveling politician-man, we was treated like kings!!!


has some legitimate critiques on the way briefings are conducted, as well as the needless frequency of meetings where we only update people on project status.

Bitch, if you only knew. In CIVLANT it gets much, much worse.

And security? Try the utility industry. Lots of utilities going with “hardened” laptops where only they can be used to access substation equipment, upload or download files, or even run test equipment. Internet? Only over encrypted 4G. And God help you if you’re in BFE and need that 100MB test plan.

Ex Coelis

Know the pain you’re describing…