Appendix L

20 APRIL 1943 (JCS 263/2/D)


1. Unified command as employed for U.S. Joint Operations is that command organization in which a force composed of units of the Army and of the Navy operates as a single command unit under an officer specifically assigned by higher authority to the command thereof.


2. A commander for U.S. Joint Operations, with appropriate title, is designated by and is responsible to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His selection from the ground or air arm of the Army, or from the Navy by the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be guided by the nature of the contemplated operation and by the end to be attained.

Exercise of Command

3. When the Joint Force Commander has been designated and the units composing his force assigned, his command responsibilities are the same as if the forces involved were all Army or all Navy. He will exercise his command of the Army and Navy forces assigned, through the commanders of these forces or of the task forces concerned. Normally in operations, this will consist of the assignment of their respective missions. In carrying out its mission the tactics and technique of the force concerned are the responsibility of the commander of that force. The participation in matters of administration on the part of the Joint Force Commander will be kept to a minimum, and disciplinary matters will in so far as practicable be handled through the commander of the service concerned. Directives or instructions of major importance relating to separate services of a Joint Force will be sent to the Joint Force Commander by the Joint Chiefs of Staff rather than by the individual Chiefs of Staff of the Services concerned.


4. (a) A joint force commander will not function in a dual capacity as joint force commander and as commander of a component of his force, unless so directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

(b) A joint staff of appropriate size will be organized to assist the Joint Force Commander. It will comprise representatives of each of the several component parts of his force in such a manner as to insure an understanding of


their several capabilities, needs, and limitations, together with the knowledge essential to maximum efficiency in integration of their efforts.

Subsidiary Joint Forces

5. The principles and system of unified command as outlined above will be extended, as appropriate, to subsidiary joint forces when so directed by the commander of the joint force of which they are a part.


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