July 11, 2012
Executive powers: then and now
Considering the importance and potential impact of the position, the Constitution’s description of the president’s military role is remarkably terse: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”
The powers of declaring war and financing the armed forces are given to Congress, but the president is in command. The details of implementation are left to posterity to puzzle out.
Read more in George Washington and the Evolution of the American Commander in Chief from the journal Colonial Williamsburg.