Armed Forces News

Photo By: Van De Ha, Air Force

Guardians, Sentinels, and Vanguards oh my. The newly established Space Force is asking the ranks to provide useful suggestions regarding how members should be addressed. The idea is to come up with a term that identifies Space Force members as clearly as soldier, sailor, airman and Marine identify members of their respective services.

Holders of an Air Force Common Access Card could submit their suggestions online through Feb. 24, via the IdeaScale web site at


“We are taking steps to broaden our aperture and bring in a larger set of groups,”  said Air Force Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson, vice commander of U.S. Space Force. “The Space Force is looking to Defense Language Institute, the language department at the Air Force Academy, and other English and language centers, as well as to its own people, to come up with the best possible suggestions for names,” he added.

Currently there’s just one member, Space Force commander Gen. John W. Raymond, but enlisted, commissioned officers and civilian members are expected to be added by year’s end (with enlisted formally terminating commissions in the Air Force or Navy, for example, and re-enlisting).


According to DoD, changes regarding financial management, personnel systems and even the Uniform Code of Military Justice will all need to be addressed before new members can come aboard, he said, so that when people formally leave their prior service and come into the Space Force, everything is ready for them and it’s a smooth transition.

Before recruiting new members directly from the civilian world, the Space Force will begin with transfers from the Air Force, Army or the Navy – starting with incoming Air Force personnel in fiscal 2020 and 2021. (Much or all of Air Force space operations could being incorporated: space operations, space intelligence, space acquisition, space engineering, space communications and space cyber.)

Air Force Maj. Gen. Clint E. Crosier, director of the U.S. Space Force planning office, says that mix of cultures will require a concerted effort to ensure equal footing.

Overcoming Inertia

Deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy Stephen L. Kitay cited the new force as an opportunity to break free from bureaucratic inertia holding back some of the other military branches. “This is our opportunity to think differently. It is not only our opportunity, it is our imperative to think differently.”

That means “embracing originality and joint principals, empowering those who work within the space community,” focusing on joint partnerships and keeping the Force – expected to total around 15,000 personnel – unburdened by “unnecessary bureaucracy,” which would really be a new frontier.

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