he fledgling U.S. Space Force has announced the name by which its members will be called: Guardians. This is one of the last remaining organizational changes for America’s newest branch to make to give it a distinct from its parent, the U.S. Air Force. The service already has its own unique unit designations, insignias and uniform devices, as well as a new motto, Semper Supra, or Always Above.
Vice President Mike Pence announced the Guardians moniker at a gathering at the White House on Dec. 18, 2020, with Space Force head General John Raymond, Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, and Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller also in attendance. This comes just days before the first anniversary of the service’s founding on Dec. 20 of last year. The Space Force’s Guardians will now join the U.S. Army’s Soldiers, the U.S. Navy’s Sailors, the U.S. Air Force’s Airmen, and, well, the U.S. Marine Corps’ Marines.[…]
This is hardly the first time the general public has made references to popular media when talking about the Space Force. As Walter Shaub, former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, noted on Twitter after the name’s announcement, there have already been a number of Star Trek references when it comes to the Space Force, generally related to its heavy use of delta symbols in its official insignias and other devices, which are very visually reminiscent of the Starfleet Command logo from that fictional universe.
With the Guardian’s name in hand, one of the few remaining decisions Space Force has to make with regards to how to distinguish itself from the Air Force, as well as the other service, is the matter of ranks. A provision had been included in earlier versions of the annual defense policy bill, or National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), for the 2021 Fiscal Year that demanded that Space Force use naval ranks.
William Shatner, the first actor to play Star Trek’s iconic Captain Kirk, went so far as to write an op-ed for Military Times earlier this year promoting that idea. “There was no Colonel Kirk,” he wrote.
However, that provision has since been dropped. If the current version of the Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA becomes law, Space Force will be free to continue its ongoing process to select a rank structure.
So, while we still don’t know what the names for their different ranks might look like in the future, we do know now that members of the Space Force have officially become Guardians.