Space Force Guardians to Grow 10% with Influx of Soldier, Sailor and Marine Transfers

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The Joint Task Force-Space Defense conducts its transfer ceremony into the Space Force.
The Joint Task Force-Space Defense conducts its transfer ceremony into the U.S. Space Force at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado Oct. 23, 2020. (Dennis Rogers/U.S. Space Force photo)

The Space Force on Thursday announced 670 active-duty soldiers, sailors and Marines have been selected to transfer into the military’s newest branch in 2022. 

This inter-service transfer will grow the Space Force’s ranks of uniformed Guardians -- which now number roughly 6,490 -- by about 10%. The bulk of the new Guardians, 603 of them, will come from the Army. Another 49 are coming from the Navy, and 18 are currently Marines. 

The service members include both officers and enlisted, and come from career fields such as space systems operations, cyber operations, acquisition, engineering and various intelligence positions, among others. 

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And the move will also include 259 civilians coming along with Army or Navy units shifting into the Space Force. When civilians are included, the Space Force is projected to grow about 7% in total.

“Successfully integrating the units, capabilities and people from sister services into the Space Force is critical to our mission and was one of the driving forces in creating the new service,” Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David Thompson said in a Thursday release.

It is the second inter-service transfer into the Space Force but will be far larger than the first. In June, the service announced 50 soldiers, sailors and Marines would move as part of a beta test of the process, to see how well integrating them would work.

Patricia Mulcahy, the service’s chief human capital officer, said some of those first 50 already have begun moving to the Space Force as it seeks to iron out any potential problems with the process. And the service already has started holding town hall sessions for civilians who will move to answer their questions.

“We are making every effort to ensure all future Guardians feel part of the team from the moment they are identified for transfer,” Mulcahy said in the press release.

The Space Force said all transferring troops were volunteers. Of the group joining the new service, 215 are now in Army or Navy units that were slated to shift to it, along with the 259 civilians. Those troops had the option of staying in their current services if they didn’t want to become Guardians -- though the civilians didn’t have that choice.

Another 455 uniformed service members were chosen from a pool of more than 3,700 officers and enlisted who had submitted applications to volunteer in March.

More than 5,200 former airmen already have come over from the Air Force and become Guardians. Others have gone directly into the new service upon joining the military.

The Space Force is also looking for more space-related missions and units in other services to bring over in 2022 and 2023, along with several hundred other service members.

-- Stephen Losey can be reached at stephen.losey@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StephenLosey.

Related: Space Force Poised to See Major Growth, New Uniforms in 2021

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