||This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
A commander-in-chief is the person exercising supreme command authority of a nation's military forces or significant elements of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military competencies that reside in a nation-state's executive, Head of State and/or Head of Government. Often, a given country's commander-in-chief need not be or have been a commissioned officer or even a veteran, and it is by this legal statute that civilian control of the military is realized in states where it is constitutionally required.
The role of commander-in-chief derives from the Latin, imperator. Imperatores (commanders-in-chief) of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire possessed imperium (command) powers. In its modern usage, the term was first used by King Charles I of England in 1639. A nation's head of state usually holds the position of national commander-in-chief, even if effective executive power is held by a separate head of government. Colonial governors are also often appointed commander-in-chief of the military forces in their colonies. Examples are Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces North, or Commander-in-Chief East Atlantic.
A Commander-in-Chief is sometimes referred to as Supreme Commander, which is sometimes used as a specific term. The term is also used for military officers who hold such power and authority, not always through dictatorship, and as a subordinate (usually) to a head of state. The term is also used for officers that hold authority over individual branches or within a theatre of operations
Within NATO and the European Union, the term Chief of Defence (CHOD) is usually used as a generic term for the highest ranked military officer of the NATO and EU member states, irrespective of their actual title or powers.
Heads of state as commanders-in-chief 
Under part II, chapter III, article 99, subsections 12, 13, 14 and 15, the Constitution of Argentina states that the President is the "Commander-in-chief of all the armed forces of the Nation". It also states that the President is entitled to provide military posts in the granting of the jobs or grades of senior officers of the armed forces, and by itself on the battlefield; runs with its organization and distribution according to needs of the Nation and declares war and orders reprisals with the consent and approval of Congress. The incumbent Commander-in-chief is President Cristina Fernández.
Under chapter II of section 68 titled Command of the naval and military forces, the Constitution of Australia states that: "The commander in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested in the Governor General as the Queen's representative."
In practice, however, the Governor-General does not play an active part in the Australian Defence Force's command structure, and the elected Australian Government controls the ADF. The Minister for Defence and several subordinate ministers exercise this control.
The Commander-in-Chief is the President, although executive power and responsibility for national defense resides with the Prime Minister. The only exception was the first C-in-C, General M. A. G. Osmany, during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, who was commander of all Bangladesh Forces, reinstated to active duty by official BD government order, which after independence was gazetted in 1972. He retired in April 7 of 1972 and relinquished all authority and duties to the President of Bangladesh.
The current Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces (in French: Commandant en chef des Forces canadiennes) is Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. The powers of this position are constitutionally vested in the Canadian monarch and are delegated by him or her to the Governor General of Canada, who may also use the title Commander-in-Chief. By constitutional convention, the Crown's prerogative powers over the armed forces and constitutional powers as Commander-in-Chief are exercised by the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the governing ministry that commands the confidence of the House of Commons. According to the National Defence Act, the Minister of National Defence, is responsible and accountable to Parliament for all matters related to national defence and the Canadian Forces. In theory, Governor General could also use his or her powers as Commander-in-Chief to stop any attempts to use the Canadian Forces unconstitutionally, though this has never occurred and would likely be highly controversial.
According to the Croatian constitution, the President of Croatia is the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia. In peace, the Commander-in-Chief exercises his command through the Minister of Defense. In war and in cases where the Minister of Defense is not fulfilling orders, the Commander-in-Chief exercises his command directly through the chief of General Staff.
Czech Republic 
According to the 1992 constitution, the President of Czech Republic is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and appoints and promotes generals. The President is required to obtain a countersign of the Prime Minister for decisions concerning appointment and promotion of generals and for decisions taken as the Commander-in-Chief. The Prime Minister may nominate other member of the government to countersign these decisions of the President. However, the President does not command the armed forces on daily basis in peace times. The real command is vested to the General Staff of the Army, which is incorporated to the Ministry of Defence. The chief of the General Staff is the General of the Army of the Czech Republic, in whom everyday command of the army is vested.
According to the Constitution of the Denmark, the head-of-state is the commander-in-chief. The head-of-state of Denmark is the Queen, however, the government of Denmark is the actual commander-in-chief although any military action that does not serve the purpose of defending Danish territory require approval by the Danish parliament (Folketinget).
Dominican Republic 
According to Article 128, Section II, Tittle IV, the President is the head of foreign policy, the civil administration and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the National Police and all other state's security agencies.
In Egypt the President of the Republic holds the ceremonial title of Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, currently Mohamed Morsi. A member of the Government, usually Minister for Defence, is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the incumbent being Abdul-Fatah Al-Sisi. The President still remains the only individual capable of declaring war. Until the election of Morsi in June 2012, prior Egyptian presidents had all been former military officers, and during the Yom Kippur War the President played a major role at all levels of the planning of the war, and was in a literal sense Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces giving direct orders to the commanders from the headquarters during the war as field marshal of the army, colonel general of the air force and air defence forces and admiral of the navy. Anwar el-Sadat often wore his military uniform, while former president Hosni Mubarak had abandoned this tradition.
According to the Finnish constitution, the President of Finland is the Commander-in-Chief of all Finnish military forces. In practice, the everyday command and control is in the hands of Chief of Defence and the Commander of the Finnish Border Guard. The economic administration of the Finnish Defence Force is the responsibility of Ministry of Defence. Since the constitutional reform of 2000, the Minister of Defence has the right to be present when the President uses his command powers, unless the matter is of immediate concern. In questions of strategic importance, the Prime Minister has the same right.
The President commissions officers and decides on the mobilisation of the Defence Forces. If Parliament is not in session when a decision to mobilise is taken, it must be immediately convened. A declaration of war is made by a presidential decree, which must be afterwards accepted by Parliament.
In France, the President of the Republic is designated as "Chef des Armées" ("Chief of the Armies") under article 15 of the constitution, and is as such the supreme executive authority in military affairs. Article 16 provides the President with extensive emergency powers. However, owing to the nature of the semi-presidential system, the Prime Minister also has key constitutional powers under article 21: "He shall be responsible for national defence" and has "power to make regulations and shall make appointments to civil and military posts".
Since the reign of Louis XIV France has been strongly centralized. After crushing local nobles engaged in warlord-ism, the Kings of France retained all authority with the help of able yet discreet Prime ministers (Mazarin, Richelieu).
The 1789 Revolution transferred the supreme authority to the King (in the context of the short-lived constitutional Monarchy), then to the multi-member Comité de Salut Public during the Convention, and later to the Directoire, before being regained in the hands of Consul Napoléon Bonaparte, later Emperor Napoléon I, alone.
The Restoration restored authority of the King, in an absolute, then constitutional way before being overthrown by the Second Empire. The following Third Republic was a parliamentary system, where the military authority was held by the President of the Council (Prime Minister).
During World War II, Maréchal Philippe Pétain assumed power and held the supreme authority in Vichy France, while Général Charles De Gaulle, acting on behalf of the previous regime, founded the Free French Forces, upon which he held supreme authority all through the war.
Hong Kong 
When Hong Kong was a British colony the Governor was ex officio Commander-in-Chief of British Forces Overseas Hong Kong. (After the transfer of sovereignty the commander of the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison are PLA personnel from the mainland China.)
Supreme Command of the Indian Armed Forces is vested in the President, although effective executive power and responsibility for national defence resides with the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister. This is discharged through the Ministry of Defence, headed by the Minister of Defence, which provides the policy framework and resources to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibilities in the context of the defence of the country.
On August 15, 1947, each Service was placed under its own Chief Commander. In 1955, the three Service Chiefs were redesignated as the Chief of the Army Staff (General), the Chief of the Naval Staff (Admiral) and the Chief of the Air Staff (Air Chief Marshal) with the President as the supreme commander.
Before 1979, the Shah was the commander-in-chief in Iran. After the inception of the Islamic Republic, the president of Iran was initially appointed that task with Abolhassan Bani Sadr being the first commander-in-chief. However, Abolhassan Bani Sadr was impeached in 22 June 1981. It was after this event that the role of commander-in-chief was given to the Supreme Leader of Iran.
The Constitution of Italy, article 87, states that the President of the Republic: is the commander of the armed forces and chairman of the supreme defense council constituted by law; he declares war according to the decision of the parliament; however, since the president has no direct executive power, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence have the actual control of the armed forces, while the president retains a supervision role.
In accordance with Article 41 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, the King is Commander-in-Chief of the Federation's Armed Forces. As such, he is the highest-ranking officer in the military establishment. As the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints the Chief of the Armed Forces Staff, on the advice of the Armed Forces Council. He also appoints the service heads of each of the three branches of the military.
The Malaysian Constitution establishes that the office of Supreme Commander is attached to the person of the Federal Head of State, Yang di-Pertuan Agong:
- Federal Constitution, Article 41 - The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall be the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Federation.
The Federal Armed Forces Act was passed by the Federal Parliament in order to consolidate in one law all the regulations governing the three services ( Army, Navy and Air Force ), it establishes the function and duties of the Federal Head of State in his capacity as Supreme Commander.
After 1992 
After the country was proclaimed Commonwealth Republic, the new constitution stipulated that a President would assume the position of the Head of State and hence commander-in-chief.
In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, before the 1973 Constitution, the head of the Army, i.e., the Chief of the Army Staff, was referred as Commander-in-Chief. The term was replaced by Army Chief per recommendation of the Hamoodur Rehman Commission's report. The report also recommended that the President, being the head of state, be referred to as Supreme Commander. (The role of President is only a ceremonial position since the real power rests with the elected Prime Minister, who is the Chief Executive of the state.) Since 1973 these roles have been changed. Today, the President of the Federation holds the real power since most of the Presidents (especially Dictators and Army Rulers) have played a more significant role.
People's Republic of China 
Article 93 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China places the authority to direct the armed forces of the PRC in the Central Military Commission. However, Article 80 gives the President of the People's Republic of China the power to proclaim martial law, proclaim a state of war, and issue mobilization orders upon the decision of National People's Congress, the highest state body. Since the mid-1990s, it has been standard practice to have the President, the CMC Chairman, and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China be the same person although the differences in the start of terms means that there is some overlap between an occupant and his predecessor.
Republic of China 
As stipulated in the national constitution of the Republic of China, the President of the Republic of China is also the Commander-in-Chief of the ROC's Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, Special Forces, and Space program.
In Poland, President is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. However, the art. 134 ust. 4 of the constitution states: The President of the Republic, for a period of war, shall appoint the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on request of the Prime Minister. He may dismiss the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in accordance with the same procedure. The authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as well as the principle of his subordination to the constitutional organs of the Republic of Poland, shall be specified by statute.
During the interwar period, the General Inspector of the Armed Forces was appointed the commander-in-chief for the time of war (Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces). However, after the war this function ceased to exist thus it is expected that in case of formal participation in war by Poland, Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces will be appointed Supreme Commander.
The President of the Portuguese Republic is the constitutional Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Portugal. However, the operational command is delegated in the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He approves the military doctrine and appoints the defense minister and the chief and other members of the general staff.
In Slovenia, the commander-in-chief is formally the President of Slovenia, although he or she does not exercise this position in peacetime. Instead, this role is usually assumed by the Minister of Defence.
Sri Lanka 
As head of state, the President of Sri Lanka, is nominally the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The National Security Council, chaired by the President is the authority charged with formulating and executing defence policy for the nation. The highest level of military headquarters is the Ministry of Defence, since 1978 except for a few rare occasions the President retained the portfolio defence, thus being the Minister of Defence. The ministry and the armed forces have been controlled by the during these periods by either a Minister of State, Deputy Minister for defence, and of recently the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. Prior to 1978 the Prime Minister held the portfolio of Minister of Defence and External Affairs, and was supported by a Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and External Affairs.
Responsibility for the management of the forces is Ministry of Defence, while the planning and execution of combined operations is the responsibility of the Joint Operations Command (JOC). The JOC is headed by the Chief of the Defence Staff who is the most senior officer in the Armed Forces and is an appointment that can be held by an Air Chief Marshal, Admiral, or General. The three services have their own respective professional chiefs: the Commander of the Army, the Commander of the Navy and the Commander of the Air Force, who have much autonomy.
President of the Republic of Turkey has the constitutional right to represent the Supreme Military Command of the Turkish Armed Forces, on behalf of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and to decide on the mobilization of the Turkish Armed Forces, to appoint the Chief of the General Staff, to call the National Security Council to meet, to preside over the National Security Council, to proclaim martial law or state of emergency, and to issue decrees having the force of law, upon a decision of the Council of Ministers meeting under his/her chairmanship. With all these issues above written in the Constitution of Turkey, the executive rights are given to the President of the Republic of Turkey to be represented as the Commander-in-Chief of the nation.
United Kingdom 
The British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, as Sovereign and head of state is the "Head of the Armed Forces" and their Commander-in-Chief. Long-standing constitutional convention, however, has vested de facto executive authority, by the exercise of Royal Prerogative powers, in the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence, and the Prime Minister (acting with the support of the Cabinet) makes the key decisions on the use of the armed forces. The Queen, however, remains the "ultimate authority" of the military, with officers and personnel swearing allegiance only to the monarch.
The Ministry of Defence is the Government department and highest level of military headquarters charged with formulating and executing defence policy for the Armed Forces; it employed 103,930 civilians in 2006. The department is controlled by the Secretary of State for Defence (or "the Defence Secretary") and contains three deputy appointments: Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Minister for Defence Procurement, and Minister for Veterans' Affairs.
Responsibility for the management of the forces is delegated to a number of committees: the Defence Council, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Defence Management Board, and three single-service boards. The Defence Council, composed of senior representatives of the services and the Ministry of Defence, provides the "formal legal basis for the conduct of defence". The three constituent single-service committees (Admiralty Board, Army Board, and Air Force Board) are chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence.
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the professional head of the Armed Forces and is an appointment that can be held by an Admiral, General or Air Chief Marshal (four-star officers). Before the practice was discontinued in the 1990s, those who were appointed to the position of CDS (head of the Armed Forces) had been elevated to the most senior rank in their respective service (a five-star officer). The CDS, along with the Permanent Under Secretary, are the principal advisers to the departmental minister. The three services have their own respective professional chiefs: the First Sea Lord who is also Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff.
Each of the three services also has one or more Commands with a Commander-in-Chief in charge of operations. These are currently Commander-in-Chief Fleet (CINCFLEET - sharing a Command HQ with Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command (CINCNAVHOME)), Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces (CINCLAND) and Commander-in-Chief Air (CINCAIR). Previously, there were also territorial Commands, e.g. Commander-in-Chief Far East.
United States 
According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the President of the United States is commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
The amount of military detail handled personally by the President in wartime has varied dramatically. The structure of U.S. ranks has its roots in British military traditions, with the President taking the highest military rank. Abraham Lincoln was deeply involved in overall strategy and in day-to-day operations during the American Civil War, 1861–1865; historians have given Lincoln high praise for his strategic sense and his ability to select and encourage commanders such as Ulysses S. Grant. On the other extreme, Woodrow Wilson paid very little attention to operational military details of World War I and had very little contact with the War Department or with General John J. Pershing, who had a high degree of autonomy as commander of the armies in France. As President in World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt worked closely with his generals, and admirals, and assigned Admiral William D. Leahy as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief. Harry S. Truman believed in a high amount of civilian leadership of the military, making many tactical and policy decisions based on the recommendations of his advisors— including the decision to use nuclear weapons on Japan, to commit American forces in the Korean War, and to terminate Douglas MacArthur from his command. President Lyndon B. Johnson kept a very tight personal control of operations during the Vietnam War, which historians have sharply criticized.
In accordance with the National Security Act of 1947, the services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force) became subject to the civilian control of the Secretary of Defense, an cabinet-level official appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 codified the default operational chain of command: running from the President to the Secretary of Defense, and from the Secretary of Defense to the combatant commander. While the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outranks all other military officers, he does not have operational command authority over the Armed Forces; however, the Chairman does assist the President and the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of their command functions.
As of 2011, there are nine combatant commanders: six have regional responsibilities, and three have functional responsibilities. Before 2002, the combatant commanders were referred to in daily use as "commanders-in-chief" (for instance: "Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command"), even though the offices were in fact already designated as "combatant commander" in the law specifying the positions. On October 24, 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced his decision that the use of "commander-in-chief" would thereafter be reserved for the President only.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is the President of Vietnam, through his post as Chairman of the Defense and Security Council, though this position is nominal and real power is assumed by the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The secretary of Central Military Commission (usually the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam) is the de facto Commander. The Minister of Defence oversees operations of the Ministry of Defence, and the VPA. He also oversees such agencies as the General Staff and the General Logistics Department. However, military policy is ultimately directed by the Central Military Commission of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam.
Non-heads of state as commanders-in-chief 
Upon the re-militarization of West Germany in 1955, when it joined NATO, the Grundgesetz was amended to include constitutional provisions for command of the armed forces. In peacetime, the Federal Minister of Defence (German: Bundesminister der Verteidigung) is the commander-in-chief of the Bundeswehr. If the Bundestag declares the state of defence (German: Verteidigungsfall), the Federal Chancellor assumes command of the German armed forces (German: Inhaber der Befehls- und Kommandogewalt - IBuK). As of 2013[update], this has never happened.
During the German Empire, Weimar Republic and the Nazi era, whoever was head of state---the Kaiser to 1918, the Reichspräsident to 1934 and Adolf Hitler from 1934---was Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Each branch had its own commander-in-chief, holding the highest rank---in the case of the Reichsheer, a Generaloberst; in the Reichsmarine, an Admiral.
When Adolf Hitler assumed power, he granted his war minister, Werner von Blomberg, the title of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. However, in 1938, Hitler took the title of Commander-in-Chief himself and assumed personal command of the Armed Forces.
East Germany 
The parliament of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the Volkskammer, enacted on 13 February 1960 the "Law on the Formation of the National Defense Council of the GDR", which established a council consisting of a chairman and at least 12 members. This was later incorporated into the GDR Constitution in April 1968. The National Defense Council held the supreme command of the GDR's armed forces (including the internal security forces), and the Council's chairman (usually the General Secretary of the ruling Socialist Unity Party) was considered the GDR's commander-in-chief. The GDR joined with the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990, upon which the GDR's constitution and armed forces were abolished.
In Israel, the applicable basic law states that the ultimate authority over the Israel Defense Forces rests with the Government of Israel as a collective body. The authority of the Government is exercised by the Minister of Defense on behalf of the Government, and subordinate to the Minister is the Chief of General Staff who holds the highest level of command within the military.
In Japan prior to the Meiji Restoration the role of the Commander-in-Chief was vested in the Shogun (The most militarily powerful Samurai daimyo. ). After the dissolution of the Tokugawa Shogunate the role of the Commander-in-Chief, resided with the Emperor of Japan, though current implications of the Emperor are highly figurative and ceremonial. After Japan's move towards democracy, the position Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces is the Prime Minister of Japan.
In Sweden – under the Instrument of Government of 1809, and until the 1 January 1975 adoption of the current Instrument of Government of 1974 – the Monarch was the Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces (Swedish: Krigsmaktens högste befälhavare).
At present, the Government (Swedish: Regeringen) as a collective body, chaired and formed by the Prime Minister of Sweden, holds the highest Executive Authority, subject to the will of the Riksdag, is thus the present day closest equivalent of a commander-in-chief. Some Government decisions regarding the Armed Forces (Swedish: Särskilda regeringsbeslut) may be delegated to the Minister for Defence, under the supervision of the Prime Minister and to the extent laid down in law.
To add to some confusion to the above, the title of the agency head of the Swedish Armed Forces and highest ranked commissioned officer on active duty, is actually Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces (Swedish: Överbefälhavaren).
However, the Monarch of Sweden (as of present King Carl XVI Gustaf), is still a four-star general and admiral à la suite in the Swedish Army, Navy and Air Force and is by unwritten convention regarded as the foremost representative of the Swedish Armed Forces. The King has, as part of his court, a military staff. The military staff is headed by a senior officer (usually a General or Admiral, retired from active service) and is composed of active duty military officers serving as aides to the King and his family.
In peacetime, the Armed Forces are led by the Chief of the Armed Forces who has the rank of "Corps commander" (Korpskommandant or Commandant de corps. Ranking OF-8 in NATO equivalence). In a time of declared war or national emergency however, the Federal Assembly appoints a General (OF-9 by NATO) as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The General acts as the highest military authority, but is subordinate to the Federal Council, which holds the supreme authority.
Four generals were appointed in Swiss history, General Henri Dufour during the Swiss Civil War, General Hans Herzog during the Franco-Prussian War, General Ulrich Wille during the First World War, and General Henri Guisan during the Second World War ("la Mob", "the Mobilisation"). Although Switzerland remained neutral during the latter three conflicts, the threat of having its territory used as a battlefield by the much bigger war parties of Germany and France required mobilization of the army.
See also 
- Chief of Defence
- Civilian control of the military
- Command and control
- Commanding officer
- Supreme Commander
- Dupuy, Trevor N., Curt Johnson, and Grace P. Hayes. "Supreme Commander." Dictionary of Military Terms. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1986.
- NATO Chiefs of Defence. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- Bangladesh : General M.A.G. Osmani (1918-1984) - C-IN-C Liberation Forces 1v MNH 1986
- Constitution of October 4, 1958, National Assembly of France. Retrieved on 2013-05-13.
- Suriname Constitution See Article 100
- Queen and Armed Forces, royal.gov.uk.
- The Royal Prerogative SN/PC/03861, House of Commons. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- Governance of Britain, July 2007. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- Review of the Royal Prerogative Powers: Final Report, Ministry of Justice, October 2009. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- "Whose hand is on the button?". BBC. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- Civilian personnel by budgetary area and grade equivalence, at 1 April each year, dasa.mod.uk
- Defence Organisation, mod.uk
- Defence Council and Chief of the Defence Staff, armedforces.co.uk
- Hansard (1998), House of Commons Written Answers, publications.parliament.uk
- Joseph G. Dawson, ed. Commanders in Chief: Presidential Leadership in Modern Wars (1993)
- Carol E. Lee, "President Obama's evolution as commander-in-chief" (2010) www.politico.com
- Andrew J. Polsky, Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War (Oxford University Press, 2012) online review
- James M. McPherson, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln As Commander in Chief (2009)
- John Milton Cooper, Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (2009) ch 18
- Eric Larrabee, Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War (2004)
- The Awesome Power: Harry S. Truman as Commander in Chief. LSU Press. pp. 265–269.
- Larry Berman, Lyndon Johnson's War: The Road to Stalemate in Vietnam (1991)
- 50 U.S.C. § 401
- <10 U.S.C. § 113
- 10 U.S.C. § 162
- 10 U.S.C. § 152.
- 10 U.S.C. § 164)
- [http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=42568 "CINC" Is Sunk], American Forces Press Service, 25 October 2002. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- Basic Law of Israel: The Military, Knesset. Retrieved on 2011-11-11.
- The Instrument of Government (English translation), The Riksdag. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- [http://www.forsvarsmakten.se/en/About-the-Armed-Forces/ About the Armed Forces, Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- Duties of the Monarch, Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
- (Swedish)Övriga funktioner, Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.