|image via space.com
Service members in the year-old Space Force will be called “guardians,” Vice President Pence announced Friday.
“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 a White House ceremony marking the service’s first birthday.
“Sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines and guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come,” he added. “On behalf of your commander in chief, let me urge each and every one of you guardians to keep pushing, 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 ... as we are on land and sea and air.”
In a tweet after the ceremony, the Space Force said the name was chosen after receiving “hundreds” of suggestions and conducting research with space professionals and the general public.
Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians. pic.twitter.com/Tmlff4LKW6— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) December 18, 2020
The Space Force was created as the sixth branch of the military with President Trump’s signing of the annual defense policy bill on Dec. 20, 2019.
Its establishment fulfilled a top priority for Trump since he first floated the idea in 2018 and turned it into a reliable applause line at his campaign rallies.
Though Trump coined the name Space Force, the idea for a separate branch of the military for space originated as a bipartisan House idea in 2017.
The new service is aimed at protecting U.S. assets in space, such as satellites, from earthly threats, including U.S. adversaries Russia and China.
Since the idea for the Space Force was first pitched, there has been much speculation and interest in some of the lighter, cultural aspects of the service, such as the logo and motto, as well as what troops in the Space Force will be called and what its official song will be.
The Space Force announced its “semper supra” motto and delta logo in July. The official logo came after Trump in January unveiled the service’s official seal, which has colloquially been referred to as the logo. The seal, which also centers on a delta symbol, was mocked by some online for resembling Star Trek’s Starfleet logo, though Space Force notes the U.S. military has used the delta in emblems for space organizations since 1961.
In May, Trump also unveiled the official flag, which included the seal, in an Oval Office ceremony.