of subordinate unified commands. (A unified
commander may set up subordinate unified
commands.) In exercising operational command,
a unified commander takes notice of the
knowledge and responsibilities of assigned service
The responsibilities of the commander of a
unified command include the following:
Maintaining the security of the command
and protecting the United States, its
possessions, and its bases against attack or
a hostile outbreak
Carrying out assigned missions, tasks, and
Assigning tasks to, and directing coordina-
tion among, subordinate commands to
ensure unity of effort in the accomplish-
ment of assigned mission(s)
A component command consists of the com-
ponent commander and those people, units,
detachments, organizations, or installations
assigned to the operational command of the
A component commander advises the unified
commander about the proper assignment of the
component to achieve the unified operational
mission. A component commander may have
assignments to missions or tasks not within the
scope or authority of the unified commander.
However, these missions and tasks should not
conflict with, but should contribute to, the overall
mission of the unified command.
A specified command is a command with a
broad continuing mission. It is normally made up
of forces from only one service but may include
units and staff representation from other services.
The authority that sets up a specified com-
mand appoints the specified commander and the
force structure. This authority also assigns the
missions and defines the commanders general
geographic area of responsibility. Figure 1-1
shows the position of the commander in the chain
Units of other services assigned to a specified
command normally know the purpose and
duration of the assignment. Such assignment, in
itself, does not change the specified command to
a unified command. If, however, the assignment
is major and of long duration, a unified command
is normally setup instead of a specified command.
The commander of a specified command has
the same responsibilities as the commander of a
unified command; however, the specified com-
mander cannot set up subordinate unified
The specified commands are the Strategic Air
Command (SAC) and the U.S. Forces Command
Organization is not a new concept. Initially,
you learned that, in its simplest form, organiza-
tion is the orderly arrangement of assets. As a
master or senior chief petty officer, you should
understand the organization of our Navy.
The DOD is the largest United States govern-
ment agency. It consists of the Office of the
SECDEF; the Departments of the Army, Navy,
and Air Force; the JCS; the unified and specified
commands; and other agencies set up by the
The heads of the Departments of the Army,
Navy, and Air Force are each responsible for
preparing their forces for war.
The members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are
the principal military advisors to the President,
the National Security Council, and the SECDEF.
They are subject to the authority and direction
of the President and the SECDEF.
The United States Military Establishment must
bean efficient team of land, naval, and air forces
to defend and protect our nation. To this end,
the President sets up unified commands to bring
about unity of effort among the services.
Functions of the Department of Defense and Its
Major Components, Department of Defense
Directive 5100.1, Department of Defense,
Washington, D.C., 1987.
United States Government Manual, Office of the
Federal Register, National Archives and
Records Administration, Washington, D.C.,