I was having a debate about whether an authority stating a permission constitutes a command. For example, say the captain of a military unit tells his subordinates, "You may sign up for a new wilderness survival course", but it is clear that this is optional. Does that constitute a command?
I understand that the verb 'to command' means 'to have or exercise authority', and that the captain in my example is exercising authority in this situation, but there is a different between the verb form and the noun 'command'. In my understanding, a command is an order or directive (a requirement), while someone stating an option or permission, even to subordinates from a position of authority, is not a command (in the noun sense). Which do you think is correct?