BOX 1.1 DOD Definitions of Terms: Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I)
Command and control (C2)--The exercise of
authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and
attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control
functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment,
communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in
planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in
the accomplishment of the mission.
Command--The authority that a commander in
the Armed Forces lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or
assignment. Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively
using available resources and for planning the employment of, organizing,
directing, coordinating, and controlling military forces for the
accomplishment of assigned missions.
Computing and communications--Two pervasive
enabling technologies that support C2 and intelligence, surveillance, and
reconnaissance. Computers and communications process and transport
Control--Authority which may be less than
full command exercised by a commander over part of the activities of
subordinate or other organizations. Physical or psychological pressures
exerted with the intent to assure that an agent or group will respond as
Intelligence (I)--The product resulting
from the collection, processing, integration, analysis, evaluation, and
interpretation of available information concerning foreign countries or areas.
Information and knowledge about an adversary obtained through observation,
investigation, analysis, or understanding.
Sometimes the term "C4ISR" is employed. The additional elements included in C4ISR are the following:
Surveillance--The systematic observation of
aerospace, surface or subsurface areas, places, persons, or things, by visual,
aural, electronic, photographic, or other means.
Reconnaissance--A mission undertaken to
obtain, by visual observation or other detection methods, information about
the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or to secure data
concerning the meteorological, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of
a particular area.
Two additional terms are commonly used in describing C4I capabilities:
Situational awareness--The knowledge of
where you are, where other friendly elements are located, and the status,
state, and location of the enemy.
Information superiority--The relative
advantage of one opponent over another in commanding and controlling his
force. Information superiority or dominance is achieved both through the
training of leaders to make rapid and appropriate decisions using superior
technical information means provided to them, and through efforts to degrade
and deny these same capabilities to an opponent while protecting one's own
SOURCES: Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, as amended through December 7, 1998 (Joint