To understand the Army chain of command, you must first know the Department of the Army falls under the Department of Defense of the United States of America.
There is both an operational and institutional side to the chain of Command.
Furthermore, the operational side covers the numbered armies, divisions, brigades, battalions, and corps.
Also, the institutional side of the Army supports the operational side.
Related Article – Air Force Chain of Command
Chain of Command/Organization
- President of the United States
- Secretary of Defense
- Secretary of the Army
- Army Chief of Staff
- Sergeant Major of the Army
- Army Commands
- Component Commands
- Direct Reporting Units
President of the United States
The President of the United States (POTUS) is at the top of the Army Chain of Command.
Currently, President Joe Biden is the President of the United States.
Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is a defense policymaker, and he oversees the Defense Department.
Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate, is the current Secretary of Defense.
Also, the Secretary of Defense swore in on January 22, 2021.
Secretary of the Army
The Secretary of the Army is a civilian with the Department of Defense responsible for everything related to the Army.
These responsibilities include personnel, weapon systems, the reserve units, and even financial management, to name only a few.
Currently, John E. Whitley is the acting Secretary of the Army.
Army Chief of Staff
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a position held by General James C. McConville.
This position is the highest-ranking offer in the Department of the Army, and the person in this position acts as an advisor to the Secretary of the Army.
Also, General James C. McConville is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him an advisor to the National Security Council and the POTUS.
Sergeant Major of the Army
Sergeant Major of the Army’s position is the highest possible position for an enlisted member of the Army.
Currently, Michael A. Grinston is the Sergeant Major of the Army.
This position’s responsibilities include advocating for the needs of enlisted members of the Army.
Also, they serve as advisors to the Chief of Staff of the Army.
Army Chain of Command: Army Commands
Under the umbrella of the Department of the Army are four Army Commands.
Army Forces Command (FORCOM)
The Commanding General for FORCOM is General Michael X. Garrett.
FORCOM’s mission is to ensure soldiers are ready for combat and fully trained to meet expectations.
To ensure the mission, FORCOM prioritizes caring for soldiers, ensuring soldiers are ready for combat, and keeping the forces modern and up-to-date.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)
General Paul E. Funk II is the commanding General of TRADOC.
TRADOC is responsible for training and recruiting soldiers.
Also, TRADOC takes on ensuring leaders are adaptive and highly competent.
U. S. Army Materiel Command (AMC)
AMC has the unique responsibility of ensuring the supply chain is global and material is ready for the Army.
Currently, the Deputy Commanding General of AMC is General Edward M. Daly.
U. S. Army Futures Command (AFC)
The AFC’s goal is to ensure the modernization of the United States Army.
Furthermore, the current Commander for AFC is General John M. Murray.
Related Article – Navy Chain of Command
Army Chain of Command: Component Commands
There are also Army Service Component Commands under the Department of the Army.
U. S. Army Africa (USARAF)
The Deputy Commanding General of USARAF is Major General Andrew M. Rohling.
Also, the mission of USARAF is to support and promote stability in the region.
U. S. Army Central (USARCENT)
The USARCENT handles the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia by providing oversight in the areas.
Also, the Commanding General is Lieutenant General Terry Ferrell.
U. S. Army North (USARNORTH)
USARNORTH is responsible for both homeland defense and the support of civil authorities.
Also, the Commander is Lieutenant General Laura J. Richardson.
U. S. Army South (USARSOUTH)
Major General Daniel R. Walrath is the Commander General for USARSOUTH.
Also, USARSOUTH handles security and other activities and national Armies in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
U. S. Army Europe (USAREUR)
USAREUR handles operations in the European and Africa Command.
Also, the Commander is General Christopher Cavoli.
U. S. Army Pacific (USARPAC)
Commanded by General Paul J. LaCamera, USARPAC prepares Army forces in the area and works to protect the region.
Also, there is a goal to work with allies in the region.
U. S. Army Special Operations (USASOC)
The USASOC commander is Lieutenant General Francis M. Baudette.
Furthermore, the USASOC works to sustain Special Operation Forces all over the world in all of its missions.
U. S. Army Surface Deployment and Distribution (SDDC)
SDDC integrates global deployment and distribution for the Army and other branches of the military.
Also, this Command works with commercial transportation to ensure their mission.
Furthermore, the SDDC’s Commander is General BG Hoyle.
U. S. Army Space and Missile Defense (USARMDC)
The Army Space and Missile Defense’s mission is to develop and provide missile defense for the Army and allies.
Also, the USASMDC works with other military branches.
Lastly, the Commanding Officer is Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler.
U. S. Army Cyber Command (USARCYBER)
USARCYBER handles operations relating to cyberspace, electronic warfare, and anything related to information.
Furthermore, the Commanding officer is Lieutenant General Stephen G. Fogarty.
Related Article – Platoon Size: US Army Organizational Structure
Army Chain of Command: Direct Reporting Units
The Direct reporting Unites (DRUs) offer general support to the United States Army.
Also, each unit has a specific and unique mission.
U. S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC)
ATEC is a Direct Reporting Unit that handles the testing, operating, evaluations, and experiments of all Army Equipment.
Also, the current commander is Brigadier General James J. Gallivan.
Furthermore, this DRU is in the continental U.S and Hawaii.
U. S. Army Military Department of Washington (MDW)
MDW is subordinate to the Northern Command, and it helps the Department of Defense support authorities.
This DRU has multiple joint missions and is Major General Omar J. Jones IV.
U. S. Military Academy (USMA)
Otherwise known as West Point, the USMA is a four-year academy for the Army.
Also, the commander is Brigadier General Mark C. Quander.
U. S. Army War College (USAWC)
Located in Pennsylvania, the United States War College is a graduate school for military officials.
Also, this DRU’s commander is Major General Stephen J. Maranian.
U. S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC)
The USAASC is a DRU to support executive offices with managing resources and the Army’s structure.
Also, the commander is Mr. Craig A. Spisak.
U. S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC)
The Human Resources Command focuses on the career management of soldiers.
Furthermore,t eh career management starts with basic training and extends all through retirement.
Also, the commander of HRC is Major General Joseph R. Calloway.
Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA)
The Department of the Army created the Civilian Human Resources Agency to handle the civilian workforce’s human resources.
There are Army civilians all over the world, and the CHRA handles everything from recruitment to retirement.
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
The Army Corps of Engineers has three areas of their mission.
They are an engineer regiment that also handles military construction. Also, the Army Corps of Engineers works with civilian organizations, as well.
Finally, the Commanding General is Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon.
U. S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM)
The Army Intelligence and Security Command handle the information, intelligence, and security operations at a national level.
The commander is Major General Gary W. Johnston.
U. S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM)
The MEDCOM is a direct reporting unit that provides health services and protection to the Army.
Moreover, this type of medical support is critical while caring for both troops and their families.
Lastly, Lieutenant General R. Scott Dingle is the U.S Army Surgeon General and Commanding General. Also, the Command Sergeant Major is Diamond D. Hough.
U. S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC)
The Criminal Investigation Division investigates severe violations of military law.
The commanding general is Major General Donna W. Martin.
Also, the Deputy Provost Marshal General is Brigadier General Duane R. Miller.
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC)
Arlington National Cemetery is a DRU. This cemetery is for military members and is located in Virginia across the Potomac River near Washington D.C.
The Executive Director is Ms. Karen Durham-Aguilera.
Army Chain of Command: Within your Unit
When you are new to your unit, it is wise to memorize your chain of Command.
This list goes in order from the bottom up.
- First-Line Supervisor
- Company Commander
- Battalion Commander
- Brigade Commander
- Division Commander (or Post Commander)
After this point, you go to your Commander in charge of whatever Army Command under which your unit falls.
For instance, your unit might fall under the U.S Army Materiel Command.
Also, it would help if you memorize your NCO chain of command.
- Platoon Sergeant
- First Sergeant
- Battalion Command Sergeant Major
- Brigade Command Sergeant Major
- Division or Post Command Sergeant Major
- Army Command Commander
- Sergeant Major of the Army
Related Article – Marine Corps Chain of Command
The Army is one branch of the military under the Department of Defense.
There are two parts to the Army and that is the operational and institutional side.
The institutional side supports the operational side, but they both need each other for effectiveness.
The chain of command begins with the President of the United States.
Beyond the executive offices, the Army has four commands.
Next, there are component commands that oversee regions of the world.
Within those commands, there are Direct Reporting Units.
A soldier’s chain of command begins locally where they are stationed.
Also, a soldier should know his chain of command within his unit as well as the noncommissioned officer chain of command.
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