Commanding Officer Law and Legal Definition

A commanding officer refers to an officer in command over a military unit, ship, or installation. S/he has ultimate authority over the unit, and has the discretion to run the unit, but within the bounds of military law.

Usually, a commanding officer has a responsibility for the maintenance of order and discipline in the command. [United States v. Bradley, 50 C.M.R. 608, 619 (C.M.R. 1975)].