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Unified Combatant Command

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Operational forces of the United States military operate under Unified Combatant Commands (UCCs), organized either on geographic (e.g., Pacificl) or functional (e.g., Special Operations, Strategic) lines. The line of command of the UCC goes from its four-star commander to the National Command Authority.

While the United States has long had regional and functional commands, the structure was formalized by the Goldwater-Nichols Act.


United States Africa Command is a unified sub-command
United States Forces Korea is a unified sub-command
  • United States Southern Command [r]: U.S. Unified Combatant Command responsible for military operations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America [e]



The UCC commander, and such subordinate joint task forces he creates, will draw from land forces, naval, air forces, Marine, and special operations components assigned to him. Plans, such as air tasking orders, will be developed jointly, with due regard that some assets, such as Marine close air support, may remain under component control.