Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond acknowledged the importance of developing a unique service culture after he assumed the role of chief of space operations for the new sixth branch of the U.S. military: Space Force.
“It’s going to be really important that we get this right,” Raymond said. “A uniform, a patch, a song. ... There’s a lot of work going on toward that end. It’s going to take a long time to get to that point, but that’s not something we’re going to roll out on day one.”
Space Force officials will mull over the aforementioned strategies, as well as plans for a training regimen and personnel rank structure, over the next 18 months. That same period could also yield a rebranding of space-centric Air Force bases such as Vandenberg and Shriever.
Every step of the process, Raymond reminded, is unchartered territory.
“We haven’t really done this since 1947,” he said.
The new branch, which is expected to house 16,000 personnel coming over from Air Force Space Command, was signed into law by President Donald Trump last month.
“Space is the world’s newest warfighting domain,” the president said. “Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. We’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”
Lead length aside, one item yet to be brought to the discussion table is what exactly these new leaders will be called.
Marines, sailors, airmen, soldiers, and Coast Guardsmen are all well known, service-specific designations. But what about those occupying the future ranks of Space Force?
This question was posed on Twitter by @Nathanial_Free, with responses ranging from “Jedi” to “Spacers” to “Star Troopers.”
It’s an inquiry that prompted us to compile 10 terms of our own — ranging from logical to entirely unrealistic (see: Frizzles) — that could be fitting monikers for Space Force personnel.
Vote on your favorite in our poll below.
- Trooper - It’s simple and acts as a nod to space-themed military personnel like storm troopers or the Mobile Infantry from “Starship Troopers.” Additionally, the public will have very little to update when changing their bumper stickers to read, “Support our Troopers.”
- Interstellar - Another nod to a space film, but also one that could be shortened to “stellar,” which is fun to imagine within the confines of recruiting slogans. “Don’t just be good. Be Stellar.”
- Oddity - The branch is already unlike any other. Why not lean into its uniqueness and make the entire service David Bowie-themed, with the famous song serving as the official Space Force hymn? Welcome to Space Force. You’ve really made the grade.
- Cowboy - Bring the past and the future together for the final frontier as a Space Force Cowboy.
- Frizzle - Unquestionably brave 4th grade science teacher Ms. Frizzle once dared to pilot a magic school bus through space. It’s time she receive some much-deserved recognition.
- Callisto - The second largest moon of Jupiter — behind Ganymede — would give an intense-sounding ring to the job.
- Melange - The valuable spice in the 1965 science fiction novel “Dune” enhances mental awareness and extends life. All good things.
- Zodiac - Protect U.S. and allied interests in space while telling all those Capricorns how unforgiving and condescending they are.
- Vulcan - “Star Wars” got its due. Can’t leave out the Trekkies.
- Cosmo - Strictly for trolling the Russian space program.
Which title do you think is the most fitting? Choose an option in the poll below or leave a comment.
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.