Space Force Personnel to be Called “Guardians,” Their Boss Has Seat on JCS

An illustration of HawkEye 360’s first satellite constellation, called Pathfinder, orbiting Earth. HawkEye 360/UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory

DefenseOne reports that, “Two days before the U.S. Space Force’s first birthday, its troops received their collective name: Guardians.”

Also that “Since its standup on Dec. 20, 2019, the Space Force has grown to about 2,400 active-duty personnel, mostly Air Force personnel who were responsible for the military’s space mission before the new service was created. In 2021, the Space Force is expected to grow to about 6,400 active-duty Guardians, as Army and Navy personnel start transferring into the new service…”

And that, Gen. Jay Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations, will officially become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The JCS members are the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Vice Chairman, the Army Chief of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Air Force Chief of Staff, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and, now, the Chief of Space Operations.

From time to time, Coast Guardsmen have been called Guardians. Presumably that will stop. I don’t think it ever really caught on. Still I don’t think it will stick for the Space Force either, although it is better than some names that might have been chosen. (Feel free to offer alternatives in the comments.)

Space Force, even if grown to 6,400, will still be by far the smallest US military force. The Coast Guard will still be six or seven times as large. Presumably they will get a relatively larger budget, but still it suggests that, perhaps the Commandant has at least as much reason to be a JCS member. Not sure he would really want to attend all their meetings, but the Coast Guard has become an important tool in US “whole of government” foreign relations organization. Plus the JCS Chairman is probably less likely to fully understand the Coast Guard than any other military service.

5 thoughts on “Space Force Personnel to be Called “Guardians,” Their Boss Has Seat on JCS

  1. I was never a big fan of when the whole “Guardians” name came about. It just seemed to contrived to me. I was always happy to be referred to as a “Coastie.” In my experience, names that just seem to evolve/appear have always had more meaning because there is usually a tory behind that name.

  2. For the record, the CCG is a de facto member of the JCS. While it might be a nice talking point for the CCG to be a de jure member of the JCS, JCS membership is (as I understand it) technically limited to the DOD services, which would include the Space Force and exclude the Coast Guard.

    As for the “Guardians” moniker, the Space Force is welcome to it. Since its Papp-era (movie based Allen-era?) appearance, I’ve never really seen any widespread adoption of the term by the rank and file Coasties, and don’t think that anyone will really miss it.

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