U.S. Navy Command Structure

The United States Navy (USN) is the maritime service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Compared to other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, the United States Navy (USN) has an atypical structure. In terms of active duty service members, it is the second largest service branch with two chains of command: one operational, and one administrative. The two chains are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible to be a part of both. The Navy's organizational chart comprises a wide range of units of all sizes. Together We Served has compiled the largest directory of U.S. Navy units, reflecting the U.S. Navy's entire command structure. Each Unit Page on Together We Served contains comprehensive information on individual Navy Unit Histories, Citations, Patches, Photos, Reunions and also includes a list of Together We Served Members who were assigned to this Navy Unit. TWS serves as a virtual military base where Navy Veterans of all eras can come together to share in the camaraderie of other Veterans in a secure Military Veteran-only environment.

As you browse the Together We Served Unit Directory, you can easily see how the U.S. Navy commands are organized. The command elements of the U.S. Navy include:

Ship Class

A ship class may be a group e.g. missile destroyer, assault ship, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, etc. or a term that refers to its particular design, such as a 'Virginia-class submarine'.


Navy squadrons are employed in the U.S. Navy as the aviation component. Aircraft carrier and land-borne aircraft are used by both the Navy and USMC. A squadron is led by a Commander.

Navy Task Force

This element refers to a group of ships cooperating on a mission. There is usually a capital ship (such as an aircraft carrier) at the center of the formation, accompanied by support ships and specialists in fields such as logistics, amphibious landings, anti-submarine warfare, etc. Larger Task Forces may be further subdivided into Task Units or Task Elements.

Strike Group

There are nine active Carrier Strike Groups in the Navy as of June 2021, and nine active Expeditionary Strike Groups. ESGs project amphibious power, and are commanded by a Marine Brigadier, while CSGs are intended to dominate the skies anywhere the Navy needs them, and are commanded by Rear Admirals. Strike Groups may perform missions as one or be split into smaller elements in order to handle tasks.


One of the largest internal Navy organizations. A fleet is commanded by an Admiral. The U.S. Navy has seven active fleets, six assigned to a different area: the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, Mediterranean, Southern Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic, and West Pacific. The seventh, Fleet Cyber Command, has a global remit.