The US Space Force, signed into law as a new military service last December, has a lot to sort out, including uniforms, an official rank structure…and how to call its members.
The Pentagon is soliciting ideas from individuals already assigned to the fledgling service with a very simple question: What would you like to be called?
Speaking to Pentagon reporters, US Space Force Vice Commander Lt. Gen. David Thompson said that while the process of deciding on a nomenclature is still underway, “some really solid options” are on the table.
“[There are] pretty strong opinions,” he said. “But what we’d like to do is make sure we’ve thought as broadly as possible and gotten the opinions of the people who matter, and those are people like…young people…and think about it as best we can before we land on a name.”
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Thompson’s comments come as an internal Space Force email circulated on the popular but unaffiliated Air Force Amn/Nco/Snco Facebook page asking its members to submit name ideas. A defense official confirmed the authenticity of the email to Military.com.
“What should the Space Force enlisted ranks E1-E9 be called? Must be gender neutral,” reads a bullet point in the email, according to the Facebook post.
“What should the collective group of members serving in the Space Force be called? Some names already circulating are Guardians, Sentinels, and Vanguards. Feel free to coin a whole new word for those who are linguistically inclined,” says another.
“We are currently in the research phase to explore options for the many characteristics of culture that will define the American Space Force,” said Major Will Russell, Space Force spokesman.
“We follow a deliberate process to ensure that the names of our Space Force professionals accurately represent the excellence and legacy of the men and women of the US Space Force. We will send more details to the space community military through official channels to seek comment,” Russel added.
The Air Force has previously used the official “Air Force Ideas” webpage, a common access card-compatible database that Airmen are encouraged to use if they wish to submit new concepts or solutions at the Air Force level. ‘squadron.
But Thompson said the service isn’t all about submissions. “We’re taking steps to expand our openness and bring … more groups” into the conversation, he said.
This includes officials from the language department of the US Air Force Academy and the Defense Language Institute of the Department of Defense, as well as other English language centers who were also involved in the process.
“There are some really solid options,” Thompson said, but didn’t elaborate.
Names aside, Space Force has yet to announce a hierarchical structure or a full uniform system. Last month, President Donald Trump unveiled his official seal, which includes the words “Department of the Air Force,” making it clear that Space Force falls under the service, just as the Marine Corps falls under the Navy.
This announcement closely followed a uniform update: the service’s official Twitter account posted a teaser photo on January 17 appearing to show a variant of the operational camouflage pattern used by the Army and Air Force. Above the left chest pocket in navy embroidery reads: US Space Force.
Officials are set to get answers from lawmakers: Top Air Force and Space Force officials must brief lawmakers every 60 days until at least March 31, 2023, of the status of the implementation of the new branch, in accordance with the national defense authorization law of the fiscal year 2020 promulgated in December.
The Pentagon delivered its first report to Congress on Feb. 3, Thompson said.
About 16,000 active duty and civilian personnel who made up Air Force Space Command are now technically assigned to Space Force, following Trump’s signing of the 2020 NDAA.
On Wednesday, officials reiterated an earlier clarification on Space Force manpower: An “assigned” Airman is “an individual who performs work in support of a specific mission, in this case the U.S. Space Force; a ‘transferred’ individual in this situation is someone who has changed their enlistment or appointment as an officer from one particular branch of the armed forces to another,” according to a document described by the service that coincided with the promulgation of the NDAA.
So far, technically, only one member has been transferred and sworn into the US Space Force: General John “Jay” Raymond, the first-ever chief of space operations, Thompson said.
Of the Space Force’s ultimate goal of 16,000 personnel, it plans to transfer at least 6,000 personnel by the end of the year, Thompson said. “We expect more than those 6,000,” he added.
Since commissioning and enlistment are specific to each military branch and bound in part by laws and statutes, the Pentagon must coordinate with Congress to “request them to authorize” the transfer of specific individuals. to the Space Force, Thompson said, adding that the appointment of members must also be linked to adequate benefit and compensation systems.
“It will go over a series of months,” he said.
Career fields that will likely transfer entirely are those with space-specific missions: space operations, space training, space intelligence, space acquisition, space engineering, space communications and cyberspace, Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier said. , director of the Space Force Planning Task Force.
Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who support space operations and wish to be part of the Space Force can request an interservice transfer. While that adjustment is pending, there are Army and Navy personnel working on the planning team at headquarters, Crosier said.
“We have 24 military and 14 navy embedded in the team,” he said.
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