The exact date of CONTROL's founding is unknown but an approximate date of 1930 (the same year as Maxwell Smart's birthdate) can be inferred from the reference to the president by Admiral Hargrade, CONTROL's first chief, as "Herbert", suggesting that he had been used to working with President Herbert Hoover. [Episode #59: "A Man Called Smart, Part 2.]
CONTROL battled through war, cold war and numerous budget cuts before finally being deactivated in 1974 ["15 years ago", TV Movie: "Get Smart, Again!"] and its KAOS-fighting mission transferred to PITS until KAOS's perceived destruction in 1980. [Movie: "The Nude Bomb".]
In 1989, with KAOS again resurgent, CONTROL is reactivated, at first on an ad hoc basis ["Get Smart, Again!"] and later more permanently. [ Get Smart (1995) series.]
The operations of CONTROL are run by an individual known as The Chief. Although reporting directly to the president, he does have a superior who can be called upon in times of emergency [Episode #33: "A Spy for a Spy"], the guy who's "over" him despite his office being downstairs [Episode #104: "Absorb the Greek"].
CONTROL is divided into three Sections - Agents, Lab and Administration - each with its own Head ["A Spy for a Spy"]. Smaller divisions, likely falling within the Sections, include Special Weapons [Episode #19: "Back to the Old Drawing Board", the Ingenious Device Department [Episode #36: "Casablanca"], Medical Security [Episode #47: "Someone Down Here Hates Me"], the Courier Department [Episode #89: "Closely Watched Planes"], Counterfeiting, CONTROL Central (which handles communications and tracking) [both Episode #9: "Satan Place"] and the CONTROL law firm of 18, 26, 35, 44, 51, 33 & Sons [Episode #76: "The Little Black Book, Part 2"]. Also maintained are the Grill Team, which handles "special" interrogations [Episode #15: "Survival of the Fattest, and the CONTROL Quick Response Team rescue force [GS95 Episode #3: "Goodbye Ms. Chip"]. The CONTROL Savings & Loan Bank provides funds for bribes, informers and ransoms [Episode #58: "A Man Called Smart, Part 1"].
The position of No. 2 Man of CONTROL appears to have been added in 1966 [Episode #46: "It Takes One to Know One"], presumably to prevent squabbling among the three section heads over which of them takes over in the event of the chief's disappearance, such as had happened earlier between Smart, Carlson and Standish. ["A Spy for a Spy".] The No. 2 man also has complete say-so over when and how often CONTROL's secret code is changed. ["It Takes One to Know One".]
There is also the monthly rotating position of Internal Security Officer. [Episode #7: "KAOS in CONTROL".]
In addition to Washington, CONTROL maintains secret headquarters in New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Phoenix - and they had one in Las Vegas but they lost it ["Episode #63: "The Spy Who Met Himself"]. The Las Vegas base had been known as Control West [Episode #54: "Smart Fit the Battle of Jericho"].
CONTROL also has a number of overseas subsidiaries and affiliates including a European branch [Episode #37: "The Decoy"], International CONTROL, which has an Armenian branch [Episode #27: "Ship of Spies, Part 1"] and British CONTROL [Episode #70: "That Old Gang of Mine"]. Chiefs who appear to be from Japan and Africa are also seen at the 1967 CONTROL Chiefs Awards [Episode #55: "How to Succeed in the Spy Business Without Really Trying"].
Actions are governed by strict adherence to a book of rules. For example, Rule 13 mandates the use of the Cone of Silence, while Rule 27 states that you must always live by the rules of the book [Episode #12: "My Nephew the Spy"].
Notable achievements of individual personnel are recognized with the afore-mentioned CONTROL Chief's Awards at a ceremony at the annual CONTROL Chiefs' Convention and by an Agent of the Year Award [Episode #44: "The Whole Tooth and..."].
In addition to the mission of fighting KAOS, CONTROL is called upon when the Red Feathers, a dissident Indian tribe, declares war on the United States [Episode #6: "Washington 4, Indians 3"], and when ex-KAOS agent Kubacheck forms a third spy network - ACB (Atrocities, Cruelties & Brutalities) [Episode #85: "Die, Spy"].
Once they even have to join forces with KAOS to prevent obsessed anti-noise campaigner Albert Pfister from destroying the world with his silent explosive Nitrowhisperin [Episode #82: "Spy, Spy, Birdie"].
After quitting KAOS when he is refused a promotion and is then also rejected by CONTROL, an agent named Kubacheck forms his own third spy network ACB - "Atrocities, Cruelties & Brutalities" - and vows to destroy both sides [Episode #86: "Die, Spy"].
One of the bitterest enemies of CONTROL was not KAOS but Adrian Listenger - a member of the CONTROL Spy school baseball team who was forced to drop out when Maxwell Smart reported him for cheating on a test; in revenge Listenger killed 6 Control Agents and then tried to kill both the Chief and Agent 86 [Episode #130: "The Mess of Adrian Listenger"].