United States Space Force cover image (Picture: United States Space Force).

What Is The United States Space Force?

United States Space Force cover image (Picture: United States Space Force).

The US Space Force has announced its service-specific rank names.

Several enlisted ranks are now different, while officers will keep the same titles that they have in the US Air Force.

The United States Space Force celebrated its first anniversary in December, when it was confirmed the service's personnel will be known as "guardians"

The service was first announced by President Donald Trump in June 2018 as the sixth branch of America's armed forces, "separate but equal" to the US Air Force.

It was followed by an online campaign to find personnel who wanted to serve the military in space.

The US Space Force was formally established in December 2019 at a signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington.

The Space Force's dark blue and white flag has the year 2019 on it and includes elements intended to evoke the vast recesses of outer space.

It incorporates a Delta Wing, designed to signify change and innovation, while dark and light shades of grey within the delta were incorporated as a nod to the 24/7 nature of the Space Force’s work.

The department's flag also features a globe, for the Space Force fighters’ home turf, and an elliptical orbit around the globe was included to signify the force’s mission to defend and protect from adversaries and threats emanating in space.

Space Force released a recruitment advert last year, with the video centred around the possibilities of "the future", with the narrator saying: "I see giant leaps making a comeback."

Senior British personnel were among those to wish Space Force a happy first birthday last month.

Space Force was America's first new military service in more than 70 years.

In April 2020, the Space Force received its first group of commissioned personnel into the service.

Eighty-six people graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, moving straight into the Space Force.

There are now about 2,300 personnel in the service, a figure expected to grow to 6,500.

The majority of the military members have been transferred from the US Air Force, which previously oversaw offensive operations in space.

A further 3,500 servicemen and women are due to move from the US Air Force to Space Force in 2021, as well as personnel from other services being merged into Space Force units.

There is currently a total of 16,000 airmen and civilians assigned to the Space Force, set to increase to 20,000 in the future.

The first member of the force transferred in was General John W. Raymond, who was sworn in as the first-ever Chief of Space Operations in January 2020.

The Pentagon then released its new US Space Force logo – but many were quick to point out its striking resemblance to the logo of Star Trek's Starfleet Command.

George Takei, who played Mr Sulu in the original 'Star Trek' TV series and films, tweeted his thoughts at the time:

Mr Trump unveiled the new logo on Twitter, saying he had been consulting with military leaders and designers before presenting the blue-and-white symbol.

It features an arrowhead shape centred on a planetary background and encircled by the words "United States Space Force" and “Department of the Air Force".

Last year, Space Force launched its first mission, releasing its first national security satellite.

Staff Sergeant Kathryn Brockmiller, 22nd Space Operations Squadron operator poses for a portrait at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado (Picture: US Department of Defense).
Staff Sergeant Kathryn Brockmiller, 22nd Space Operations Squadron operator poses for a portrait at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado (Picture: US Department of Defense).

What is the difference between Space Force and Space Command?

In August 2019, the US re-launched Space Command, which is responsible for military operations in outer space, and was originally in operation between 1985 and 2002.

In April 2019, General John Hyten explained the differences between the Space Force and Space Command.

"The structure is basically built around the same structure we have in all our combatant commands," he said.

"The way our military is organised is we have combatant commands that fight our forces.

Space Force first mission
The Space Force launched its first satellite in March (Picture: US Department of Defense).

"They fight our battles, they win our wars, they conduct strategic deterrence – all the missions are executed through our combatant commands.

"The new US Space Command will execute the space mission through the combat command of US Space Command," he added.

"But the services organise, train and equip forces for those commands. So the Army, Navy, Air Force, marines, builds, organises, trains and equips forces for the Unified Combatant Commanders.

"The Space Force will do that for the Space Command and for the joint force at large – that's the difference between the two."

Cover image: United States Space Force.

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