1942 Rare USA Document: What is a Human Control System?


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A document from 1941, USA, Office of Civilian Defense


‘The purpose of this pamphlet is to supply the necessary instructions for establishing and operating a local civilian protection control system

Every organization is composed of groups of workers, each of which has a special function to perform. To be effective these groups must operate in a coordinated manner. Coordination can be attained only through the exercise of command by a single person who is responsible for the final results of the organization as a whole.

In small organizations command can be exercised by the issuance of orders face to face, that is, directly from the Commander to the individuals who are to carry out the orders. In large organizations, composed of many units, operating at widely scattered points, some means must be devised to enable the Commander to know all that is happening in the area under his jurisdiction and to transmit his orders quickly and accurately to all units of his command.

This system is known as a control system. The principal functions of a control system are as follows: (a) To provide the Commander and his staff with a headquarters; (b) To keep the Commander supplied with a picture of the situation in the Held; (c) To transmit his orders quickly and accurately.’

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