The Cabinet Tuesday approved revisions of the law governing the organization of the military to give each chief of staff of the country’s three military branches the authority to command their own operations.
The measure is part of programs to boost efficiency of the command structure, defense ministry officials said.
Previously, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) held the sole power to command, with a separate unit under the JCS in charge of conducting all military operations.
Under the revision, each chief of staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force is empowered to control their own operations, in a move to make them more “professional” and “efficient,” the officials said.
With the JCS chairman in charge of overseeing three heads of the branches, each branch chief will have two vice chiefs to support their roles.
The revision came after Seoul and Washington agreed to dissolve the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) with Seoul’s plan to retake wartime operational control of its troops from Washington in 2014. The Republic of Korea (ROK) is the official name of South Korea.
The change is aimed at boosting the combination of the three branches and streamlining superior offices of the military, thus making the country’s armed forces “strong and efficient,” the officials said.