Combatant commander


Combatant commander

Combatant commander (CCDR) is the title of a major military leader of United States armed forces, either of a large geographical region or of a particular military function, formerly known as a commander-in-chief.

The Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 added a new level of CCDR to the U.S. military's chain of command. Regional CCDRs were created in order to have a local supreme commander who could exercise unified command and control across service boundaries, ideally eliminating or diminishing interservice rivalries. CCDRs reported directly to the United States Secretary of Defense, and through him to the President of the United States. The best-known CCDR was probably Norman Schwarzkopf, CCDR of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) during Operation Desert Storm.

On October 24, 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced that the title of "Commander-in-Chief" would thereafter be reserved for the President, consistent with the terms of Article II of the United States Constitution. Armed forces CINCs in specified regions would thereafter be known as "combatant commanders," heading what are now known as Unified Combatant Commands.


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