As of 2014, the Gangster Disciples have a board of directors and overseer. Beneath those ranks are governors, assistant overseers, regents, and coordinators. Foot soldiers are at the bottom.
Larry Hoover, a founder of the Gangster Disciples, was the chairman as of 2008 despite being in prison. The gang is active across the United States but is most prominent in Chicago. There are multiple boards of directors and overseers for the different locations. Hoover formed the gang with David Barksdale in 1968, but it split into rival factions until the mid-1980s. Hoover helped merge the factions while in prison to gain more control over the drug trade. The merge was also done because a rival gang, the Latin Kings, were recruiting more members.
The Gangster Disciples had approximately 50,000 members according to reports in the 1990s. The majority of members are foot soldiers. There are black, white and Hispanic members. The gang is very organized and uses code words to communicate. Children are recruited for the gang at a young age to help with illegal activities such as smuggling and executions. The symbol of the gang is the six-pointed star of David, because David Barksdale was the original president. The official colors of the gang are blue and black, but white and gray are also used.