Space force

HASC President: Space Force has bigger worries than having to use Navy ranks

Chairman Adam Smith said Space Force leaders have so far not pushed back against Rep. Crenshaw’s “Starfleet” amendment.

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Space Force leaders have so far not pushed back against a bill that would require the space service to use the Navy’s reporting structure.

Space Force “hasn’t contacted me directly” about this, HASC Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said Oct. 21 during a call with reporters.

Smith said he doesn’t see it as a priority issue and he praised the Space Force for not engaging lawmakers on the amendment, even though department heads are known to oppose it. use of naval ranks. “It tells me their priorities are in the right place,” Smith said.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) introduced legislation dubbed the “Starfleet Amendment” that passed into the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021. The proposal will be debated later this year at a House and Senate conference. The Senate should support the amendment for it to become law. Smith said he expects the NDAA to pass in December.

Smith said the Space Force should remain focused on its space asset protection and capacity building responsibilities. “There are bigger issues” than having to use Navy ranks, he said. “Although you must appreciate William Shatner” for shining the spotlight on this.

Shatner called on the Space Force to adopt Star Trek naval ranks for its officers and enlisted personnel in an editorial published August 26 by military times. Shatner argued that starships are led by captains, not colonels.

In recent public appearances, Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, the Space Force’s senior enlisted adviser, said the service will continue to use the Air Force rank structure until this issue is resolved in the legislative process. He said the Space Force would be ready to implement whatever Congress decides.