When Former President Donald Trump announced a new branch of the military called Space Force, the media mocked it. I was just happy to have a president excited about space again. Not since Reagan and Kennedy has there been a President who got people excited about space.
Today, a name has been assigned to the personnel who will be apart of the new military branch. “Guardians.”
The new name for military’s space professionals, announced on Friday by Vice President Mike Pence, and its making me want to sign up yesterday!
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 transfering into the new service, Gen. Jay Raymond, the chief of space operations, said on a call with reporters earlier this week.
Per Defense One:
In addition to the Space Force, there’s a handful of new space organizations around the Defense Department. There’s the U.S. Space Command, a combatant command that provides space support to military commanders around the world. There’s the Space Development Agency, a satellite buying organization that pre-dates the new service. It has ambitious goals to buy one satellite per week. And there’s Johnson’s job, a new top-level Pentagon position established by the same law that created the Space Force.
“A lot of them are still growing and maturing, but now it’s just about delivering results,” he said. “And there’s ton of work to do.”
Johnson played a key role in the reorganization of the Pentagon’s space enterprise. He was a top aide to former Deputy Defense Secretary (and acting Defense Secretary) Patrick Shanahan, who was put in charge of looking at ways to reorganize the management structure of the military’s space activities.
Despite bipartisan support in Congress for creating a space-focused branch of the military there was plenty of resistance, largely within the Pentagon. Most officials believed the military’s space mission was important, particularly as since China and Russia were building spacecraft and weapons that could disrupt American satellites, but how to organize these space professionals was hotly debated.
“The hardest part in standing up the Space Force, honestly, was internal Pentagon bureaucracy and…traditional resistance to change,” Johnson said. “But we fought through that. We got support in Congress [and] we got support from the president obviously.”