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Naval Doctrine Publication 6

Naval Command and Control

NAVAL COMMAND AND CONTROL
“I have been concerned for many years over the increasing tendency--now grown almost to ‘standard practice’--of flag officers and other group commanders to issue orders and instructions in which their subordinates are told ‘how’ as well as ‘what’ to do to such an extent and in such detail that the‘Custom of the service’ has virtually become the antithesis of that essential element of command—‘initiative of the subordinate.’”

— Admiral Ernest J. King, U.S. Navy

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS WASHINGTON, DC 20350-2000 AND HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS WASHINGTON, DC 20380-0001

19 May 1995

FOREWORD

Command and control is the foundationupon which the planning and execution of naval operations are built—from peacetime forward presence, to operations other than war, to crisis response, to regional or global war. It is the tool the naval commander uses to cope with the uncertainty of combat and to direct his forces to accomplish the assigned mission. Naval command and control reflects the way we organize, train, and fight.Naval Doctrine Publication (NDP) 6, Naval Command and Control, is the sixth in a series of capstone documents that articulate naval doctrine and provide the basis for the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures. It explains how naval commanders exercise command and control over assigned forces and outlines broad guidance for the command and control of Navy and Marine Corpsoperations. Every naval professional must understand its contents.

J. M. BOORDA Admiral, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations

C.E. MUNDY, Jr. General, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant of the Marine Corps

NDP 6

INTRODUCTION
Command and control is an essential element of the art and science of naval warfare. Command is the authoritative act of making decisions and ordering action; control isthe act of monitoring and influencing this action. These acts—supported by a system of people, information, and technology—enable the naval commander to cope with the uncertainty of combat and to employ military force more efficiently. Modern technology has broadened the scope and increased the complexity of command and control, but its foundations remain constant: professional leadership,competence born of a high level of training, flexibility in organization and equipment, and cohesive doctrine. These elements establish a framework for effective command and control that must be mastered by all who exercise command in the naval Services. Command and control governs all areas of naval warfare. To be effective, it requires the commander to have a thorough understanding of thenature and conduct of war, naval leadership, the command and control process, and the supporting information systems. It requires an appreciation of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses in our own command and control process and systems—as well as insight into the nature of adversary command and control. The requirement to exercise effective command and control in today’s environment extends toall levels of warfare, across the full range of military operations. This publication discusses the philosophical foundation of command and control, how commanders monitor and influence operations, the command and control process, the systems through which command and control is executed, and the various ways that commanders establish effective command and control.
NDP 6

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Table ofContents

CHAPTER ONE The Nature of Naval Command and Control ............................... 3
What is Command and Control? ................................................................... 6 The Environment of Command and Control: Uncertainty and Time ...... 11

CHAPTER TWO The Process of Command and Control ....................................... 17
The Decision and Execution...
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