A Unified Combatant Command
) is a United States Department of Defense command
that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission.Joint Pub 1
, p. GL-11. These commands are established to provide effective command and control
of U.S. military forces, regardless of branch of service, in peace and war. They are organized either on a geographical basis (known as "Area of Responsibility
", AOR) or on a functional basis. UCCs are "joint" commands with specific badges denoting their affiliation.
The Unified Command Plan
(UCP) is updated annually in conjunction with the DoD Fiscal Year
and can modify areas of responsibility or combatant command alignments or assignments. As of January 2008, there were ten Unified Combatant Commands as specified in Title 10 and the latest annual UCP. Six have regional responsibilities, and four have functional responsibilities.
Each unified commands is led by a Combatant Commander
(CCDR),Joint Pub 1-02
, p. 61. who is a four-star general
. CCDRs exercise combatant command
(COCOM), a specific type of nontransferable command authority over assigned forces, regardless of branch of service, that is vested only in the CCDRs by federal law
in .Joint Pub 1
, p. IV-4. The Chain of Command for operational purposes... Read More