After Criticism from Its Top Commander, Space Force Adopts New Mission Statement

Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman takes a question
Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman takes a question after addressing students at the Space Force’s inaugural Intermediate and Senior Level Education class at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C., July 27, 2023. (Andy Morataya/U.S. Air Force)

After the Space Force's top officer criticized the service's mission statement this past May, Guardians weighed in. Now, the service has a new one.

In a press release Wednesday, the Space Force said its new mission statement is: "secure our nation's interests in, from, and to space."

Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman, in a May memo, called the previous mission statement "long and cumbersome" and asked the service's Guardians to offer ideas. Within two weeks, 135 responses had been sent in, according to the release.

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"We did not hire a corporate marketing team to develop a catchphrase. Nor did generals sit around a table in the Pentagon debating what the statement should be," Saltzman said in the press release. "Our mission statement was sourced from a Guardian-driven process."

In July, Guardians from four field commands and major commands participated in eight focus groups to discuss the phrase and provide feedback, according to the release.

In announcing the new mission statement, the Space Force said the phrase "In, from, and to space" is a reference to the three main functions of the service, which were described as:

  • "In space, through space superiority activities that protect the joint force and nation from space and counterspace threats.
  • From space, by delivering global mission operations like satellite communications, positioning, navigation and timing, and missile warning activities.
  • To space, by assured space access through the service's launch, range and control network infrastructure."

The previous Space Force mission statement was: "The USSF is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping Guardians to conduct global space operations that enhance the way our joint and coalition forces fight, while also offering decision makers military options to achieve national objectives."

In the three years since the Space Force became a separate and distinct service branch under the Department of the Air Force, officials have worked tirelessly to build public recognition. previously reported on the woes that Guardians had with the lack of public recognition for the Space Force, which led to late-night talk show monologues, a poorly reviewed Netflix series of the same name, and even internal slogans that mocked the service's slow pace of development.

While there has been a lot of progress -- namely from former Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond and soon-to-be retired Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman -- Saltzman's reworking of the mission statement is the latest example of how the service's top leaders are making culture and identity a focus.

"Our mission statement is a call to action that concisely encapsulates our purpose and identity as Guardians and members of the profession of arms," Saltzman said in the press release.

Towberman, the service's top enlisted leader, is retiring from the service Sept. 15. In May, the Space Force selected Chief Master Sgt. John Bentivegna to serve as his replacement -- making him the next leader responsible for culture, policy and morale of the Space Force's enlisted Guardians.

-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

Related: Space Force's Top \General Blasts Service's Mission Statement as 'Long and Cumbersome'

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