National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Communications Unit Leader*

COML decorative banner: photos depicting COML position.  COML Position Description:  The Communications Unit Leader (COML), under the direction of the Service Branch Director or Logistics Section Chief, is responsible for developing plans for the effective use of incident communications equipment and facilities; installing and testing communications equipment; supervising the Incident Communications Center; distributing communications equipment to incident personnel; and maintaining and repairing communications equipment.

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The Communications Unit Leader (COML) is responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining communications equipment on wildland fire incidents. The COML also provides data, telephone, and radio communications support for incident personnel. The COML supervises the Incident Communications Technician (COMT) and the Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM) and reports to the Logistics Section Chief (LSC) or the Service Branch Director (SVBD). The COML works in the Logistics functional area.

The Forest Service and Department of Interior are enabled by Administratively Determined Pay Plans (AD Pay Plans) to hire persons for temporary duration for the following reasons:

  1. To cope with a sudden and unexpected emergency caused by a fire, or extreme fire potential, flood, storm, or any other all-hazard emergency that threatens damage to federally protected property, has the potential to cause loss of life, serious injury, public health risk, or damage to natural or cultural resources unless brought under immediate control.
  2. To provide emergency assistance to States under formalized agreements.
  3. To meet mission assignments issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Business Committee (IBC) reviews positions annually and establishes pay rate classifications for each position.

For more information on the AD Pay Plans, go to

Apr 2023



Satisfactory performance as an Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM)


AND Satisfactory performance as an Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM)


Jan 2023


Satisfactory performance as an Incident Communications Technician (COMT)
AND Completion and Certification of NWCG Communications Unit Leader (COML) Position Task Book, PMS 311-34   


Satisfactory performance as an Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM)
AND Completion and Certification of NWCG Communications Unit Leader (COML) Position Task Book, PMS 311-34


Apr 2021

Added: Incident Position Description (IPD) approved.

Oct 1993

Position created.


Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

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