In order to generate complex motor outputs, the nervous system integrates multiple sources of sensory information that ultimately controls motor neurons to generate coordinated movements. The neural circuits that integrate higher order commands from the brain and generate motor outputs are located in the nerve cord of the central nervous system. Recently, genetic access to distinct functional subtypes that make up the Drosophila adult ventral nerve cord has significantly begun to advance our understanding of the structural organization and functions of the neural circuits coordinating motor outputs. Moreover, lineage-tracing and genetic intersection tools have been instrumental in deciphering the developmental mechanisms that generate and assemble the functional units of the adult nerve cord. Together, the Drosophila adult ventral nerve cord is emerging as a powerful system to understand the development and function of neural circuits that are responsible for coordinating complex motor outputs.