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A commander-in-chief, also sometimes called supreme commander, or chief commander, is the person or body that exercises supreme operational command and control over a nation's military forces. As a technical term, it refers to military competencies that reside in a nation-state's executive leadership—a head of state, a head of government.

Often, a given country's commander-in-chief (if held by an official) need not be or have been a commissioned officer or even a veteran. In these countries this follows the principle of civilian control of the military.

The formal role and title of a ruler commanding the armed forces derives from Imperator of the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, who possessed imperium (command and other regal) powers.[1]

In English use, the term first applied to King Charles I of England in 1639.[citation needed] It continued to be used during the English Civil War.[2] A nation's head of state (monarchical or republican) usually holds the nominal position of commander-in-chief, even if effective executive power is held by a separate head of government. In a parliamentary system, the executive branch is ultimately dependent upon the will of the legislature; although the legislature does not issue orders directly to the armed forces and therefore does not control the military in any operational sense. Governors-general and colonial governors are also often appointed commander-in-chief of the military forces within their territory.

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 (see Generalissimo). The term is also used for officers who hold authority over an individual military branch, special branch or within a theatre of operations.[3]

This includes heads of states who:

According to the Constitution of Afghanistan, The President of Afghanistan is the Commander-in-chief of Afghan Armed Forces.

This page was last edited on 17 July 2018, at 14:08 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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