'Guardians' of the Galaxy: Pence Announces Name of Space Force Members

Seven BMT graduates became the first to join the Space Force on Dec. 10, 2020.
Trainees take the Oath of Enlistment during their basic military training graduation ceremony on Dec. 10, 2020, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Seven were the first BMT graduates to join the Space Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)

Space Force members have an official new name: Guardians, Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday.

"Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come," Pence said during a ceremony to commemorate the Space Force's 1st birthday, coming up on Dec. 20.

Pence was flanked by Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett at the White House.

Space enthusiasts and military members were quick to point out the name 'Guardians,' evokes the Marvel Comics' "Guardians of the Galaxy" film franchise, about a motley crew of superheroes in space.

The announcement comes hours after Air Force astronaut Col. Michael "Hopper" Hopkins transferred into the Space Force onboard the International Space Station, and a few days after Raymond was made an official member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The name change -- from space professionals or space warfighters, the generic term used before the official name was announced -- follows the introduction of the service's official logo, which reprises the use of the delta symbol from the Space Force's seal and flag.

In July, officials introduced the logo accompanied with its formal motto, "Semper Supra," which translates from Latin as "always above."

The Space Force's seal, which also uses a delta, was unveiled by President Donald Trump in a tweet in January; in May, the president hosted Barrett, Raymond, and Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, senior enlisted adviser to the Space Force, during a ceremony to present the flag at the White House.

With each unveiling, users on social media have been quick to point out that the insignia is highly reminiscent of the "Star Trek" Starfleet Command logo; but the military says the symbol is part of its history, too.

The newest military branch has also debuted dark navy-colored name tape for its uniforms, a lapel pin, guidance on camouflage uniform wear (like the Army and Air Force, Space Force members wear the Operational Camouflage Pattern as the official service duty uniform); three commercials; and its organizational structure.

Pending Space Force decisions include formal dress uniform updates, insignia patches, a rank structure, among others.

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

Related: Semper Supra: Space Force Unveils Long-Awaited Official Logo

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