Vice President Pence announced on Friday that Space Force members would be called Guardians. Not Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, or Marines, but Guardians.
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come,” Pence said during a ceremony to commemorate the Space Force’s first birthday that is coming up on December 20.
The official memorandum from General John Raymond, the new branch’s head, and Chief Msgt. Roger Towberman, its senior enlisted advisor, states that the Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations. It traces its lineage to 1983 and the original command motto of Air Force Space Command, “Guardians of the High Frontier.”
“The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission you execute 24/7, protecting the United States and its allies’ people and interests,” the memorandum added.
The announcement comes hours after Air Force astronaut Col. Michael “Hopper” Hopkins transferred into the Space Force onboard the International Space Station. In 2008, Hopkins was selected as a special assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. James Edward “Hoss” Cartwright. There he worked until he began training the following year as part of NASA’s 20th astronaut class.
The announcement also follows a few days after General Raymond was made an official member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
You Might Have Seen it Somewhere
One can only chuckle at the appellation, especially considering that the new branch’s emblem highly resembles the emblem of Star Trek’s Starfleet Command. The fictional command’s emblem even contains a near-identical star wrapping around the chevron or delta shape.
A spokesman said the delta wing signifies an upward trajectory into space. It represents the launch vehicles that send satellites into orbit and evokes change and innovation.
The name Guardians also evokes Marvel Comics’ superhero team. One wonders what Groot’s rank would be. Maybe Airmen First Class Guardian? Or maybe Master Guardian?
“Semper Supra,” the branch’s motto, means “always above.” It represents the service’s role in establishing, maintaining, and preserving U.S. freedom of operations in the ultimate high ground, a spokesman said.
Founded on December 20, 2019, the Space Force exists to “provide freedom of operation for the United States in, from, and to space” and “provide prompt and sustained space operations.”
Vice President Pence ended his speech on Friday with, “So Happy Birthday to the United States Space Force. God bless our Guardians. God bless all the members of our Armed Forces. And God bless America. Semper Supra.”