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Anish Singh asked: What is 'joint command' and 'integrated command'? Is there any difference between the two?

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  • Vivek Chadha replies: The terms ‘joint’ and ‘integrated’ tend to get used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two that deserves emphasis.

    Integration refers to the formal combining of constituent elements into a single structure. As an illustration, the Integrated Defence Staff is a command that comprises of a formal structure that includes representatives from all the three services, i.e., Army, Navy and Air Force. This is based on designated appointments they are required to hold and specific responsibilities that they undertake.

    Joint is a term that is instead used for the spirit of different organisations operating seamlessly. In fact, the term jointmanship is peculiar to the armed forces and is often used to describe cohesive functioning amongst them.

    This implies that there can be jointness without integration. Conversely, even if there is integration, the organisation may not necessarily succeed in developing the spirit of joint functioning. Jointness is therefore more in spirit and integration in structures.

    Posted on March 22, 2019