Commander In Chief
The President of the United States is the permanent Commander in Chief over the American military. He may deploy and direct his armed forces as he sees fit. This authority comes from the Constitution, Article II, Section 2, which states that the President must obtain approval from Congress for treaties and ambassadorships but does not need permission from anyone to use military force.
Reasons Why the President is Commander in Chief
The title ‘Commander in Chief’ signifies that the essential authority to conduct military operations is vested in the President. Before the ratification of the Constitution, Anti-Federalists objected vehemently to this power to wage war abiding in one man. The Federalists were for it and won the argument by assuring those in the middle that Congress could exert some control by curtailing the flow of funds for the armed forces.
The thing is, the Chief Executive, also known as the President, must have the ability to act immediately when urgent action is required. The enemy will not wait for deliberation and consensus. Congress and the Judiciary are sometimes in session and sometimes not. The President is always on duty. He cannot wait for Congress to get together, talk it over, and take a vote on what to do next. The world is unpredictable. The Chief Executive must possess the freedom to act expeditiously, to improvise on the fly, and even to operate secretly.
Americans are so used to civilian control over the military that many of us do not realize that it is not how things are always done in other places. The Founding Fathers made sure that our armed forces would be under civilian control because military officers plotting against their governments was - and is - common in the world.
Our military officers generally declined to involve themselves in politics—most refused to even vote—for much of our history. Their job is to follow the orders of the Commander in Chief regardless of his political party or policies. Civilian control has been an enormous blessing to America.