Established on 1 August 1952, the United States Commander in Chief, Europe (USCINCEUR) is responsible for executing the military and defense policies of the United States by ensuring that combat-ready forces from the U.S. Army, Navy (including Marines), and Air Force are in the region. These forces may conduct operations alone or in concert with other countries. When originally formed, the area of responsibility included Europe from the North Cape in Norway south to the Mediterranean Sea as well as North Africa and Turkey. The area was eventually expanded to include the Middle East as far south as Saudi Arabia, east to Iran, and south to include Africa all the way to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
The officer in this position also serves as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Because the flag officer serving at USCINCEUR also serves as the SACEUR, the Deputy Commander in Chief, Europe (DCINCEUR), has the authority to make decisions and direct U.S. military matters for the USCINICEUR. The first USCINCEUR was General Matthew B. Ridgway, who served during 1 August 1952–11 July 1953.
Dallace W. Unger Jr.
Paul, Roland A. American Military Commitments Abroad. Camden, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1973.