The article 120 of the National Constitution of 1886 gave the President of the Republic the attribution to direct, when he considered convenient, the military operations as Chief of the Armies of the Republic.

At that time, the law 102 of 1944 assigned, to the Chief of staff, the functions of command on behalf of the Government, making him virtually a Commander-in-chief, since that act centralized in this position the functions of command of the military Forces. Later, the decree 835 of April 16th of 1951 created the position of General Commander assigning the functions given to the Chief of staff.

In order to issue this decree an ample study was held on the joint command system, as it was practiced in the United States of North America, whose conclusion was that the components of this organization had to be committed to work technically, healthy and efficiently for an organization that obeys orthodox principles following a clear will of command.

Thus the General Command of the Military Forces was born. It has the National Army of Colombia, the Navy of the Republic of Colombia and the Colombian Air Force under its control. The Constitution of 1991 legally recognizes the existence of the Military Forces and gives their mission through the article 217.