The Space Force Will Soon Let Some Members Test Out Dress, PT Uniforms

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A nametape and camouflage utility uniform pattern for the new U.S. Space Force.
This photo shared via Twitter depicts a nametape and camouflage utility uniform pattern for the new U.S. Space Force. (U.S. Space Force via Twitter).

The U.S. Space Force is starting to take shape and will soon let a group of service members try out a potential future service dress uniform, along with some physical training gear, its top enlisted adviser said Tuesday.

Through a rotational process, "60 folks will be trying out service dress and 60 folks will be trying out PT gear, on and on," Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman said in a town hall speech during the virtual 2020 Air, Space and Cyber conference. "We'll use a different group every time [because] we want as many people involved in our future as possible."

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Uniforms are on Space Force's long list of details still to be determined. Others include service-specific insignia and a rank structure, as well as what to call its members -- though transferees will still be called airmen while legislation is pending.

So far, the Space Force has debuted a service seal, logo, flag and utility uniform name tape for the service-duty Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform. Towberman acknowledged that pending decisions like uniforms are on the forefront of troops' minds because they speak to the service's identity.

The White House played a role in some of these early decisions, offering input on creation of the official seal, for example. In July, Time magazine reported that President Donald Trump also suggested that the First Lady "should help design Space Force uniforms because of her impeccable fashion sense."

Reiterating comments he made to Air Force Magazine, Towberman announced that the Space Force intends to ditch promotion testing for enlisted members.

"We're going to get rid of promotion testing; we're going to go to boards," he said Tuesday, referring to the selection process. "We're excited to kind of watch how that grows."

More information will be provided to airmen soon, he added.

The Air Force last year dropped one of its standard promotion test phases for the master sergeant, senior master sergeant and chief master sergeant ranks -- the Weighted Airman Promotion System, or WAPS. The new system focuses on merit, not necessarily test scores, in the senior noncommissioned officer promotion process, officials said at the time.

Towberman said the Space Force has the opportunity to shape its own benchmarks for success.

"I want people that can think critically. I want people that can reason. I want people that, when given access to all the information in the world, can bring it together in a useful way," he said. "Just memorizing stuff and spitting out a multiple choice test is not where we want to go."

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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