The newly established Space Force's effort to connect with America is meeting mixed reviews and skepticism.
On Jan. 17, 2020, the official Space Force Twitter account tweeted a photo of Gen. John "Jay" Raymond's new operational camouflage pattern working uniform. Raymond was recently sworn in as commander of Space Force and is its only current member.
Many on Twitter questioned the need to "blend in" in space (as camouflage uniforms are meant to do). Others asked why the Space Force needs the expense of new uniforms at all.
The service tried to explain to the Twitterati that Space Force members won't actually be in space and that being on the ground during a space war would still require a degree of camouflage. It also tried to explain that using the same Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms as the other branches would incur no expense.
All that effort was for naught because the public expected something else -- perhaps something that makes the Space Force more accessible than its sister services. Or maybe the American people simply wanted more of a spectacle.
Either way, here are a few uniforms that would have met both those criteria. If both Army and Navy football teams can get new uniforms every year, surely we can make one of these happen.
7. Galactic Empire Officers Uniform
While this uniform might send the wrong PR message to a public already concerned with executive overreach, it would still be a familiar sight to average Americans. It has the added luxury of already having a few variations built into its lore, to differentiate between levels of officer and enlisted Space Force members.
6. Starfleet Uniforms
While these would send a much brighter message to people than Imperial officers or Stormtroopers, the bright colors that make up parts of the uniform might be a hindrance if something really does happen to Space Command bases and the young Space Force has to pick up 21st-century body armor and small arms. These things don't even have pockets.
5. Gen. Mark Welsh's Ridiculous Swearing-In Uniform
I think Curtis LeMay almost rose from the dead when Gen. Mark Welsh put on this uniform to be sworn in as the 20th Air Force Chief of Staff. With a few alterations, such as ditching the "farts and darts" that adorned the brim of his bus driver's hat and using a ribbon rack instead of full-size medals, this uniform could be serviceable. It was a little too much for the Air Force but could be a good starting point for the new branch.
4. Colonial Fleet Uniforms
Thanks to the 2004-2009 reboot and to Jim Halpert's impression of Dwight Schrute, America is once again familiar with "Battlestar Galactica." The best part is that adopting these uniforms means adopting dress blues, honor guard uniforms, extreme cold weather gear, working uniforms and more.
3. Old Army Uniforms
Look, everyone gets hand-me-downs from their older siblings. If the Army is going to Pinks and Greens anyway, it only makes sense that soldiers are going to give up their old uniforms and stop buying the accoutrements for the old black and blue Army Service Uniform. So the Army will have a surplus it can ship right over to the AAFES Space Exchange.
2. United Nations Space Command
Here, half the work is already done for the Space Force. All it has to do is change one word from the space service depicted in the "Halo" series. There are working uniforms, complete with armor, like those pictured above, as well as fatigues and dress blues, all the way up to general officers' uniforms.
1. NASA Flight Suits
Considering the Space Force's status as a department of the Air Force, it seems fitting that the working uniform of the Space Force should be a flight suit. Since the new Space Force is a space-oriented organization, showing affinity to its civilian counterpart isn't a bad idea. It also sends a great, reassuring message to the American people. Everyone trusts the blue NASA flight suit, after all.
-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at email@example.com.
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