Table of Organization (TO) diagrams are a specialized form of symbology that shows the command relationship among the subunits of any military organization. The TO is a graphic depiction of the lawful chain of command and responsibility: who gives orders and who has to make sure they are carried out. The diagram is a hierarchal tree; orders come down and information goes up. In a less than perfect world, the hierarchal structure sometimes inhibits action, but experience records more failures from short-cutting channels that from getting bogged down in them.
For higher-echelon organizations, the little boxes on the diagrams are simply connected and filled in with the name or abbreviation of the headquarters involved. As an example, the TO for Joint Special Operations Command, from p. 77 of GURPS Special Ops, shows that there are only two levels of command between the National Command Authority (the President of the United States) and the colonel who commands 1st Special Forces Operational Detatchment – Delta.
A group of military symbols has been standardized by the NATO countries to make TOs easier to read and to show the command level of the units involved. Some of these symbols are: