The Netflix show Space Force isn’t exactly a documentary. The comedy series directed by Steve Carell tends to poke fun at the central idea of the US Space Force. Initially something of a send-off from Donald Trump-era America, Season 2 premiered last month in a very different world.
Office Showrunner Greg Daniels sticks to pointing out the absurdity of the concept, even though the main target of the first season’s satire is no longer the White House. But it does make you wonder: what does the real Space Force look like? Is it really a sixth branch of the US military? Can anyone sign up?
Netflix’s ‘Space Force’ pokes fun at the very idea of the last real US military branch
space force has a star-studded cast, mixing Daniels’ star repertoire like Carell and Ben Schwartz with powerhouse actors like John Malkovich, as IMDb reports. Like with Office, the series adopts a workplace comedy angle. Since its development began shortly after the actual Space Force materialized, the series doesn’t quite reflect what the real military branch looks like.
Carell plays Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark Naird, who has spent his life developing a career he believes will lead him to become a four-star Air Force general. Instead, his superiors assign him to Space Force. Naird receives few directives except a presidential mandate to “get boots on the moon by 2024”.
It’s an instant comedic premise, considering NASA has done it before. Is there any reason to do it again, except with guns? Naird finds himself at the head of a whole new branch of the military with a limitless purpose. Reframing NASA’s science mission into a military enterprise is the perfect grain for Daniels’ dry comedic style.
What does the real Space Force look like?
The United States Space Force, or USSF, continues to establish itself as the latest expansion of the US military. People largely scoffed at the idea at first, although their stated mission, via the official Space Force website, made some sense. The idea is that the ground aspects of the military should focus on the land itself, while private and strategic assets such as satellites require special attention.
Yet the organization’s redundancy is not a reputation it has managed to shake. Almost all members of the Space Force are drawn from the United States Air Force, which has long performed the same tasks for which the USSF is now mandated. Air Force Magazine reports that recruiting new members from outside the Air Force is promoted, but the numbers are not particularly high.
The Space Force retired 16,000 members directly from the Air Force. Most new recruits approved come in the form of transfers from other military branches like the Marines. But each wave is quite small, ranging from around 400 to 500 people over an entire fiscal year. In all cases, the service will consider open applications, with submissions being accepted on the USSF website.
Real Space Force situations are often as funny as a sitcom
space force resembles the real USSF only in the most vague terms. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough comedic material as this new branch of the military tries to establish its raison d’etre. Some People Find Space Force Humor Twitter Account.
From the start, there was a hint of awkwardness around the project. The initial announcement of servicemen and women called “guardians” was an instant target for mockery. There’s also the absurd fact that the Netflix series space force actually beat the US government to the hilt when it came to securing the copyright on the name.
Then there’s the logo, a clear riff on star trekStarfleet insignia. Full uniforms project military might with familiar brown and green camouflage patterns. Not exactly a useful outfit in dark leafless parts of outer space.
Eventually, it is likely that the USSF will prove itself as a useful part of the overall US military apparatus. But currently the events of the Netflix comedy series space force echo reality more than those involved in the real deal might care.
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