Designed by Michael West of the architectural firm of Calloway, Johnson, Moore & West in Winston-Salem, NC, the dramatic 59,000 square-foot building is highlighted by the 5,000 square-foot, five-story high open lobby area. The lobby exhibit is accented by natural light from the glass walls and surrounding high mounted windows. The lobby exhibit features two fully deployed parachutes, a WWII era T-5 round chute and a modern MC-4 square chute. The round parachute represents the origins of airborne forces, and the integration of airborne forces into conventional warfare. The square parachute represents the cutting edge of modern special operations, and the unconventional warfare they continue to engage in. Displayed together, these parachutes represent the development of airborne infiltration, and the soldiers who work in support of one another in the combined airborne and special operations community.
The command center for the museum volunteers, the Information Desk is the first stop for visitors.
Behind the desk is the museum logo, designed in 1992 by Tony Sims, then a specialist with the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne). Having a paratrooper design the museum logo continues a grand tradition - the parachutist badge was designed 50 years earlier by Capt. (later Lt. Gen.) William P. Yarborough.
The logo is a master parachutist badge, representing the highest level of military parachutist, superimposed over a modified spear-head and dagger, representing the insignia of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
The logo, like the museum it represents, presents the best of conventional airborne and special operations.
The Congressional Medal of Honor
A wall in the lobby is dedicated to the 77 individuals who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions while assigned to an airborne or special operations unit. Click here to see a list of the 77 airborne and special operations Medal of Honor recipients.U.S. Army Airborne Units and Special Operations Units
Another wall in the lobby reviews the history of the establishment of airborne units and special operations units, with histories of the major units and even more comprehensive listings of units. Additional information is available at the computer kiosks in the lobby or at Roll Call Unit Histories.