U.S. Army Central



U.S. Army Central’s motto, "Tertia Semper Prima," Latin for "Third, Always First," reflects the command’s longstanding history of constant readiness - to defeat emerging threats and protect the United States’ interests around the globe.

Formerly known as Third Army, U.S. Army Central has a storied past and has always been a key player in U.S. foreign policy. U.S. Army Central currently functions as America’s land domain experts in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia - providing continuous oversight and control of Army operations throughout the region.

Our headquarters consists of approximately 600 assigned Soldiers at the main command post on Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. and approximately 20,000 assigned and attached Soldiers forward, with a command post at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.

USARCENT is an operational-level Army force designated by the Secretary of the Army as the Army Service Component CommandASCC - Command responsible for recommendations to the joint force commander on the allocation and employment of Army forces within a combatant command. Learn more here. of United States Central Command. On behalf of the Secretary of the Army and through the Chief of Staff of the Army, USARCENT exercises administrative control ADCON - the direction or exercise of authority over subordinate or other organizations with respect to administration and support. Learn more here. of all U.S. Army forces in the Middle East and Central Asia - which includes supplying, equipping, training, servicing, administrating, maintaining forces and coordinating construction.

We also support joint, multinational, and interagency elements in the CENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR) through Army support to other services. This includes missile defense, logistics management, transportation, fuel distribution, communications, veterinary services, and explosive ordnance disposal. This joint support also includes contracting, medical support and evacuation, military postal service, and detainee operations.

When delegated by the CENTCOM commander, USARCENT exercises operational control OPCON - Authority to organize commands and forces and to employ those forces as the receiving commander deems necessary to accomplish assigned missions. Learn more here. over all U.S. Army forces in the CENTCOM AOR, with the exception of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Iraq. Also for the CENTCOM commander, USARCENT produces military plans, improves relationships and interoperability with partner nations through exercises, and facilitates the seamless transition of joint forces in and out of theater.

Finally, when directed by CENTCOM, USARCENT serves as a Joint Task Force JTF - An ad hoc military formation established when the scope and complexity of a contingency or crisis require capabilities of Services from at least two Military Departments operating under a single joint force commander. Learn more here. capable of commanding and controlling joint and/or coalition forces engaged in sustained military operations, including disaster relief and crisis response. For example, USARCENT served in this capacity in 2003, during the invasion of Iraq and from 2014 to 2015, for the fight against ISIS. 

Learn more about the Army Command Structure here.


Area of Responsibility