Two Hats Are Better Than One: The Dual-Status Commander in Domestic Operations   [open pdf - 94KB]

"A single commander, referred to as a dual-status commander (DSC), will command both the state NG [National Guard] and federal Active Duty forces in a mutually exclusive manner so as to keep distinct the federal and state chains of command. At first blush, it introduces a very different construct: one commander, two chains of command. This newest construct, both in theory and in operation, has presented military leaders new options and new opportunities to plan how to meld the unique capabilities and command and control structures of both federal and state forces into agile and complementary forces prepared to meet the ever-changing challenges in domestic operations. The DSC [Dual-Status Commander] is a statutorily authorized construct. Under the construct, the President must authorize and the governor must consent for a specified officer to command both federal and state forces. Although a non-traditional concept not frequently utilized, the DoD [Department of Defense] is comfortable with the DSC arrangement as it has proven successful before--at such highly visible events as the G-8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, in 2004; Operation Winter Freeze in 2005; the Republican and Democratic National Conventions of 2004 and 2008; and the G-20 Summit in 2009. Those unfamiliar with the construct may question its authority, the need for supporting agreements, and its ability to adapt to catastrophic national events such as a large-scale terrorist attack or like-type calamities. Quite frankly, many of the military members, both active and NG, who will ultimately serve under this DSC have many questions, too."

Report Number:
Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 27-50-445
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Library of Congress: www.loc.gov
Media Type:
Army Lawyer (June 2010)
Help with citations