Do we not have super-smart readers? Check out this important course correction from Operative B2.
Oh Dread Lord of the Castle Gormogon,
Exalted knower of many things,
Permit me to make a slight correction to your description of the chain of command by which the President conducts military operations.
This applies to drones, snipers, cruise missiles, carrier battle groups, Marine Infantry, Army Mechanized Divisions, etc.
The President is the commander in chief of the US Armed Forces. The next link in the chain is the Secretary of Defense. The next link in the chain is the Combatant Commander of the theater in question. This person is a four star ranked military officer. Below him is a component commander for Air, Ground, or Naval forces (sometimes Special Operations Forces too). All operations require some level of jointness (operations combining assets of air, ground or naval forces). So for any operation there will be a supporting and a supported commander. Working out those levels of command details is the work of an operations center. Each combatant commander has under his command an air, ground and naval ops center with specialist staff personnel that create the operations plan to get the job done. The combatant commander will delegate almost all the work but may retain authority to make a real time decision or he may delegate some amount of command authority to conduct the planned operation. Depends on how dynamic or politically sensitive the operation is.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) has no command authority. They are military advisers to the national command authority (President and SECDEF). They also manage staff that organize, train and equip forces under their respective branches.
Anyway just thought you would like to know.
Not that you didn’t know, er…I mean of course you knew but just didn’t express it exactly well…er…guess I gotta go.
Operative B2, USAF ret
Thanks, B2, for your service as well as your very illuminating operational diagram for the issuance of orders. The Czar remembers the old days, when he could point a finger and someone would wind up against a wall. Truth be told, the Czar remembers the old days when a commander-in-chief would take care of it his damn self with a single swing of an axe. But you know, committees, paperwork, the Internet, and static cling elimination puts pressure on a world leader to delegate, delegate, delegate.
How on earth did we get anything done before we had you readers?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.