Cover image for Command concepts : a theory derived from the practice of command and control
Command concepts : a theory derived from the practice of command and control
Builder, Carl H.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, CA : Rand, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxi, 144 pages : illustrations, maps, plans ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense [by the] National Defense Research Institute."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UB212 .B85 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



The qualities of commanders and their ideas are more important to a general theory of command and control than are the technical and architectural qualities of their computers and communications systems. This theory separates the art of command and control (C2) from the hardware and software systems that support C2. It centers on the idea of a command concept, a commander's vision of a military operation that informs the making of command decisions during that operation. The theory suggests that the essential communications up and down the chain of command can (and should) be limited to disseminating, verifying, or modifying command concepts. The theory also suggests, as an extreme case, that an ideal command concept is one that is so prescient, sound, and fully conveyed to subordinates that it would allow the commander to leave the battlefield before the battle commences, with no adverse effect upon the out-come. This report advances a theory about military command and control. Then, through six historical case studies of modern battles, it explores the implications of the theory both for the professional development of commanders and for the design and evaluation of command and control architectures. The report should be of interest to members of the Joint Staff and the services involved in developing command and control doctrine for the U.S. military, and to all of those interested in the military art and science of command and control.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. iii
Figuresp. ix
Summaryp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xxi
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2 The Context of Command and Command Conceptsp. 17
Chapter 3 Master of the Game: Nimitz at Midwayp. 25
Chapter 4 The Technician: Guderian's Breakthrough at Sedanp. 43
Chapter 5 Technology's Child: Schwarzkopf and Operation Desert Stormp. 55
Chapter 6 The Visionary: Macarthur at Inchonp. 73
Chapter 7 No Time for Reflection: Moore at Ia Drangp. 89
Chapter 8 Structurally Deficient: Montgomery at Market-Gardenp. 103
Chapter 9 Summing Up: Command Concepts and the Historical Recordp. 117
Appendix: Alternative Models of Command and Controlp. 127
Bibliographyp. 137