It’s been about one year since President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act to create the military’s newest and sixth branch: Space Force.
In the beginning, Space Force was reported as somewhat of a joke when Trump first announced it. Since it has been very real with lots of developments in 2020 (see: here & here), as the U.S. attempts to remain dominant in space amid a rising China and Russia.
For about a year, thousands of active-duty soldiers and civilians are serving in the Space Force, but there was no formal name given to the men and women serving in the newest military branch.
The Army has soldiers . The Navy has sailors . The Marines have… marines . The Coast Guard has Coast Guardsman. And as of Friday, the Space Force now has "Guardians."
In a speech at the White House on Friday, Vice-President Mike Pence was totally serious when he made the formal announcement that “Guardians” would “ensure that America remains as dominant in space, and from space, as we are on land and sea and air.”
“It is my honour,” Pence said, "on behalf of the president of the United States, to announce that henceforth the men and women of the United States Space Force will be known as guardians.
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come.”
We assume “Guardians” has nothing to do with the 2014 movie “Guardians of the Galaxy,” where a group of intergalactic criminals come together to save the universe. This will give fodder to writers of the new Netflix comedy series, “Space Force,” to poke fun at Trump.
Without a doubt, Pence was totally serious about the name. And so is the Pentagon.
On Twitter, the Space Force said:
“The opportunity to name a force is a momentous responsibility. Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, “Guardians of the High Frontier.””
It continued: “The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies.”
Earlier this year, Space Force’s logo was unveiled, and it looks awfully similar to the symbol from the cult sci-fi T.V. series Star Trek.
And now that space is considered a war-fighting domain - it’s time to prepare the Guardians for space-based missions to protect America’s interest, not just in low Earth orbit, but also the trillions of dollars of rare materials underneath the lunar surface.