Middle English comanden, from Anglo-French cumander, from Vulgar Latin commandare, alteration of Latin commendare to commit to one's charge. The English word does not certainly appear before 16th cent., so that it may have been formed here on the verb: compare demand , order , call , and the modern invite.
- 1: to direct authoritatively : order
- 2: to exercise a dominating influence over : have command of: as a : to have at one's immediate disposal <commands many resources> :b : to demand or receive as one's due <commands a high fee>
- c : to overlook or dominate from or as if from a strategic position <a hill that commands the city>
- d : to have military command of as senior officer <command a regiment>
- 3: obsolete : to order or request to be given
A command in military terminology is an organizational unit that the individual in Military command has responsibility for. A Commander will normally be specifically appointed into the role in order to provide a legal framework for the authority bestowed. Naval and military officers have a legal authority by virtue of their officer's commission however the specific responsibilities and privileges of command are derived from the publication of appointment.
The United States Department of Defense defines command as follows:
- 1. The authority that a commander in the armed forces lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment. Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources and for planning the employment of, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling military forces for the accomplishment of assigned missions. It also includes responsibility for health, welfare, morale, and discipline of assigned personnel.
- 2. An order given by a commander; that is, the will of the commander expressed for the purpose of bringing about a particular action.
- 3. A unit or units, an organization, or an area under the command of one individual. Also called CMD. See also area command; combatant command; combatant command (command authority).