Updated: May 9
Soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Guardians. That's the line-up for personnel in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and America's newest armed service — the U.S. Space Force.
Vice President Mike Pence announced that personnel in the Space Force will be called Guardians. He spoke during a White House event marking the first anniversary of the U.S. Space Force, yesterday.
"It is my honor, 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,'" Pence said during the ceremonies.
Let me urge each and every one of you Guardians to keep pushing. ... Keep pushing the vision and the mission of the United States Space Force, which is to ensure that America remains as dominant in space." Vice President Mike Pence
The Trump administration championed establishing the U.S. Space Force culminating in the legislation signed Dec. 20, 2019, that formed the first U.S. armed force since the Air Force was established in 1947. "That historic moment was a culmination of an effort that began from the early days of this administration — from almost the first moment that the president and I spoke about space when we were campaigning for these jobs," Pence said. "He had a dual focus of renewing American leadership in human space exploration, but also ensuring that America remained as dominant in space as we are in land and air and sea."
There are roughly 4,000 Guardians in the U.S. Space Force — all from the Air Force. One of the newest members of the service is in orbit aboard the International Space Station. Space Force Col. Michael Hopkins, a NASA astronaut, transferred from the Air Force to the Space Force. This is a far cry from earlier this year when Gen. John "Jay" Raymond and Chief Master Sergeant Roger Towberman were the only two members of the Space Force.
That space is now a war-fighting domain is not questioned. Russia and China are aggressively seeking ways to cut into America's dominance in space, Pence said. He noted that Russia conducted yet another antisatellite missile launch. "We're leading in space, but our determination … is to stay in the lead to defend America and defend our freedom from [the vantage point of] space," he said.
The vice president also noted that the first two space bases are up and operating: Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station were renamed earlier this month.
The Space Force has to form even as the missions continue. "Let me urge each and every one of you Guardians to keep pushing," Pence said. "Keep pushing the vision and the mission of the United States Space Force, which is to ensure that America remains as dominant in space."