EXECUTIVE ORDER 9877

Functions of the Armed Forces

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and as President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I hereby prescribe the following assignment of primary functions and responsibilities to the three armed services.

Section I—The Common Missions of the Armed Forces of the United States are:

1. To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic.

2. To maintain, by timely and effective military action, the security of the United States, its possessions and areas vital to its interest.

3. To uphold and advance the national policies and interests of the United States.

4. To safeguard the internal security of the United States as directed by higher authority.

5. To conduct integrated operations on the land, on the sea, and in the air necessary for these purposes.

In order to facilitate the accomplishment of the foregoing missions the armed forces shall fomulate integrated plans and make coordinated preparations. Each service shall observe the general principles and fulfill the specific functions outlined below, and shall make use of the personnel, equipment and facilities of the other services in all cases where economy and effectiveness will thereby be increased.

Section II—Functions of the United States Army

General

The United States Army includes land combat and service forces and such aviation and water transport as may be organic therein. It is organized, teamed and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations on land. The Army is responsible for the preparation of land forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war, and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of peacetime components of the Army to meet the needs of war.

The specific functions of the United States Army are:

1. To organize, train and equip land forces for:

a. Operations on land, including Joint operations.

b. The seizure or defense of land areas, including airborne and joint amphibious operations.

c. The occupation of land areas.

2. To develop weapons, tactics, technique, organization and equipment of Army combat and service elements, coordinating with the Navy and the Air Force in all aspects of joint concern, Including those which pertain to amphibious and airborne operations.

3. To provide, as directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service in foreign countries as may be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States.

4. To assist the Navy and Air Forces in the accomplishment of their missions. including the provision of common services and supplies as determined by proper authority.

Section III—Functions of the United States Navy

General

The United States Navy includes naval combat and service forces, naval aviation, and the United States Marine Corps. It is organized, trained and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat at sea. The Navy is responsible for the preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war, and in accordance with integrated Joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Navy to meet the needs of war.

The specific functions of the United States Navy are:

1. To organize, train and equip naval forces for:

a. Operations at sea, including joint operations.

b. The control of vital sea areas, the protection of vital sea lanes, and the suppression of enemy sea commerce.

c. The support of occupation forces as required.

d. The seizure of minor enemy shore positions capable of reduction by such landing forces as may be comprised within the fleet organization.

e. Naval reconnaissance, antisubmarine warfare, and protection of shipping. The air aspects of those functions shall be coordinated with the Air Force, including the development and procurement of aircraft, and air installations located on shore, and use shall be made of Air Force personnel, equipment and faculties in all cases where economy and effectiveness will thereby be increased. Subject to the above provision, the Navy will not be restricted as to types of aircraft maintained and operated for these purposes.

f. The air transport necessary for essential internal administration and for air transport over routes of sole interest to naval forces where the requirements cannot be met by normal air transport facilities.

2. To develop weapons, tactics, technique, organization and equipment of naval combat and service elements, coordinating with the Army and the Air Force in all aspects of joint concern, including those which pertain to amphibious operations.

3. To provide, as directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service m foreign countries as may be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States.

4. To maintain the U.S. Marine Corps whose specific functions are:

a. To provide Marine Forces together with supporting air components, for service with the Fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of limited land operations in connection therewith.

b. To develop, in coordination with the Army and the Air Force those phases of amphibious operations which pertain to the tactics, technique and equipment employed by landing forces.

To provide detachments and organizations for service on armed vessels of the Navy.

a. To provide security detachments for protection of naval property at naval stations and bases.

b. To provide, as directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service in foreign countries as may be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States.

5. To assist the Army and the Air Force in the accomplishment of their missions, including the provision of common services and supplies as determined by proper authority.

Section IV—Functions of the United States Air Force

General

The United States Air Force includes all military aviation forces, both combat and service, not otherwise specifically assigned. It is organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained air offensive and defensive operations. The Air Force is responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war.

The specific functions of the United States Air Force are:

1. To organize, train and equip air forces for:

a. Air operations including joint operations.

b. Gaining and maintaining general air supremacy.

c. Establishing local air superiority where and as required.

d. The strategic air force of the United States and strategic air reconnaissance.

e. Air lift and support for airborne operations.

f. Air support to land forces and naval forces. Including support of occupation forces.

g. Air transport for the armed forces, except as provided by the Navy in accordance with paragraph 1 f, of Section III.

2. To develop weapons, tactics, technique, organization and equipment of Air Force combat and service elements, coordinating with the Army and Navy on all aspects of joint concern, including those which pertain to amphibious and airborne operations.

3. To provide, as directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service in foreign countries as may be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States.

4. To provide the means for coordination of air defense among all services.

5. To assist the Army and Navy in accomplishment of their missions, including the provision of common services and supplies as determined by proper authority.

Harry S. Truman
The White House,
July 26,1947.

[F. R. Doc. 47-7140; Filed July 23, 1947, 10:13 a. m.]