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Having learned nothing, Space Force turns to the internet to name its members

Space Force is calling on you, soldier! 

President Donald Trump’s newly minted military branch has a mission, and they’re reaching out to the deepest, darkest part of society to answer the call: The internet.

The assignment? Find a fitting name for its members. 

In an email posted in a public Air Force enlistment Facebook group, Chief Master Sgt. Amber Mitchell, a senior leader for Space Force, asked members to come up with creative, nonbinary names for “the collective group of members serving in the Space Force.”

Terms already circulating within the branch are “Guardians, Sentinels, and Vanguards,” according to the post — spurring associations with popular video games like Halo and franchises like Marvel’s X-Men. Some comments consisted of serious input, like “Regulators” and “Starlifters,” while the majority, like “Space Cowboy,” “Rocketman,” and “Alien,” were apparently attempts at trolling

The email also asked enlisted Air Force members to weigh in on other issues, like what uniforms should look like, what Space Force’s song should sound like, where recruiters should look for cadets, and what its rank insignia should be. 

General John Raymond, U.S. Space Force chief of space operations, signs the United States Space Command sign on Jan. 10, 2020, at Cavalier Air Force Station, North Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melody Howley) Senior Airman Melody Howley

On January 24, Trump tweeted out a photo of the newest Space Force emblem, whipping the internet into a frenzy over whether it bears an obvious resemblance to Star Trek’s Starfleet symbol or whether it is an adaptation of the Air Force’s long-standing logo. 

After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020

This isn’t the first time the internet has had a field day with Space Force. Since 2018, Trump has pushed for a branch of the military dedicated to all things intergalactic, sometimes receiving mockery from notable astronauts themselves. Yet, that did not stop Congress from adopting a $738 billion defense bill this past December that in part helped make Space Force a reality and the sixth branch of the U.S. military. 

The branch is warming up, too. On Wednesday, Space Force conducted its first nuclear-ready ballistic missile test from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California — a signal to skeptics that it is not a joke, but a way to “ensure national security for our country.”

But that won’t stop commenters from suggesting “Spacey McSpaceface” as a potential collective group name for Space Force members. Or “Grunts.” Or “Master Chiefs” — à la Halo. 

If you have an idea for what Space Force members should be called, you have until next Friday, Feb. 14, to drop a comment in the post, and get spacey with it. 

Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
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