The commander is responsible for the overall success of unit operations. The commander receives missions from higher headquarters, decides how assets are to be employed, and directs the execution of operational plans. The command relationships of the unit are organic, assigned, attached, OPCON, and TACON.
Organic assets are assigned to and forming an essential part of a military organization. Organic assets are those listed in the unit's MTOE, and are in this command relationship when conducting missions in support of their own unit.
Assigned is to place units or personnel in an organization where such placement is relatively permanent, and/or where such organization controls or administers the unit or personnel for the primary functions of the unit. As in organic, units will have this relationship when C2 is exercised by their parent headquarters.
Attached is the placement of units or personnel in an organization where such placement is relatively temporary. The commander of the unit that receives the attachment is responsible for the sustainment and logistics support that is beyond the capability of the attached unit. An example of this relationship is a cargo helicopter platoon being attached to a division for the duration of an operation.
Operational Control OPCON is a "command relationship that gives a commander the authority over subordinate forces to organize and employ the assets, designate objectives, assign tasks, and give direction regarding accomplishment of the mission. The commander exercising OPCON authority has no responsibility for logistics sustainment of the supporting unit.
Tactical Control TACON is a command relationship that gives a commander authority over assigned or attached forces or commands, or military capability or forces made available for tasking, that is limited to the detailed, and, usually, local direction and control of movements or maneuvers necessary to accomplish missions or tasks assigned.
The support relationships of unit are Direct Support and General Support.
Direct Support [DS] is a mission requiring a force to support another specific force and authorizing it to answer directly to the supported force's request for assistance. When operating in a DS role, missions can be coordinated directly between the assigned unit and the supported unit.
General Support [GS] is the support that is given to the supported force as a whole and not to any particular subdivision thereof. Units may be placed in GS to several units , receiving missions from their parent headquarters based upon support priorities established by commanders. When operating in a GS role, the supported unit must request support from the appropriate headquarters.
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