Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Logan, Rachelle LCDR

9/11 Pentagon Attack Oral History

"My whole goal was to protect the privacy of the families."

Date of Interview: 30 November 2001

Interviewers: CAPT Gary Hall, CAPT Michael McDaniel, CAPT Terrance McGinnis, & YNCS Kathleen Wright, USNR, Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206

At the time of the attack, LCDR Logan was serving as the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for Naval District Washington (NDW).  On the morning of the attack, she was at work at the Washington Navy Yard.


Logan, Rachelle LCDR
Title: Logan, Rachelle LCDR

Oral History Summary:

As the PAO for Naval District Washington, LCDR Logan handled "all of the press queries, media coordination, official visits," and any other public affairs issues for the NDW region, which covers an area of roughly 4000 square miles.  Normally, her small staff was supported by the office of the Navy's Chief of Information (CHINFO).  However, when the Pentagon was hit, the plane caused enough damage to the CHINFO offices that LCDR Logan could not count on them as a resource.  She and her small staff were on their own. 

Her biggest concern from the moment she saw the smoke from the Pentagon was the media's treatment of the victim's families.  She began preparing materials to provide to the CACOs who would be assigned to the families of the victims.  She knew the CACOs would need training on how to deal with the media that would undoubtedly be harassing the families as soon as the names became public.  Working with the CACOs, she also provided support and information to the families.  She also briefed security at the NDW installations on how to handle intrusive media.  She also worked to establish better coordination with the other service branches.

Beyond detailing all that she did to ensure the families of the victims were well prepared to handle the media, LCDR Logan also provided numerous lessons learned on how the Navy, the CACOs, and the PAOs could be better prepared to handle the media during future mass casualty events.

Content Warnings: Sensitive Content

Oral History Abstract and Transcript: Logan, Rachelle LCDR Pentagon Attack Oral History (PDF, 523kb)

Related Oral Histories:

MacDonald, Barbara

Published: Sun Jun 13 03:04:55 EDT 2021