Space Force: A New Frontier for Military Service and Career Opportunities

a hubble telescope photo of ANTENNAE GALAXIES with the words US Space Force superimposed

The Importance of Space

Looking up into the vast array of stars at night, it is easy to get lost in wonder and awe. Space has always been a fascination for humankind, but now it is so much more than just a place of wonder. Space is another frontier that has been conquered and claimed for the use of business, military action, and communication. The many satellites revolving around the earth give crucial information to users back on earth. Without these, many of the jobs and amenities we use every day -like cellphone communication and the internet- would be severely reduced or impossible.

Our military uses GPS from space on a daily basis taken from satellites. First responders use satellites in order to be able to communicate in times of crisis as well as GPS to locate where a caller in distress may be. Time-stamp transactions in the world financial market come from satellites and help the economy function. The importance of having uninterrupted access to space and the items and technology within it is huge. Our security and prosperity depend on our connection to space.

The Birth of Space Force

Due to the critical equipment in the sky, and the need to defend that equipment, Space Force was created. Space Force sounds like something you are going to see on the next Hollywood movie release, but it is in fact a real and important branch of our country’s armed forces. The reliance we have on satellites orbiting the earth requires protection. If our connection to these satellites was disrupted or taken from us, it would hinder our ability to communicate within military branches, and to prepare ourselves for a possible attack. Not to mention it would cause disruptions elsewhere in civilian communication and potential problems in our financial market.

Space Force was created from existing military branches to oversee the satellites we have, as well as defend them. As of now, we don’t have a Star Wars-type of squadron that is ready to jump into their space-ready fleet and defend with lasers and light speed, but we do have highly trained people ready to protect US and allied property in space.

Defense without Debris

Satellites provide crucial services to people on earth, but they also pose specific risks. When discussing the need to defend equipment in space from attack, it is essential to develop non-kinetic skills to disable or attack satellites without physical harm. A non-kinetic attack can disable a satellite without physical harm. However, it can still pose a risk of debris falling to earth or endangering other satellites or the International Space Station.

Although much of the debris will burn up in the atmosphere upon reentry, a better safe than sorry approach is adopted in non-kinetic strategies. The International Space Station’s safety could be highly compromised with added debris from destroyed satellites in the orbital space around the earth. Any repairs needed to the station require precise calculations and a slow, careful response, which floating debris could cause.

The number of satellites orbiting the earth is continuously increasing, and while space is enormous, there is only a finite amount of it surrounding the earth. The orbiting area around the earth becomes a possible arena for competition and disagreements. Ultimately, the US wants to prepare for future conflicts over the availability of space.

What is the Plan for Space Force?

Space Force was established on December 20, 2019, to address the need for a dedicated force to protect U.S. interests in space, safeguard uninterrupted access to space, and defend space resources. The mission of the U.S. Space Force is to organize, train, and equip space forces to safeguard U.S. and allied interests in space and provide space capabilities to the joint force. The U.S. Space Force’s responsibilities include developing Guardians, acquiring military space systems, maturing military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces.

The U.S. Space Force is composed of a team of Airmen from the Air Force, including both uniformed and civilian personnel who conduct and support space operations as part of Air Force Space Command. This new service branch is a separate and distinct unit organized under the Department of the Air Force, similar to how the Marines are organized under the Department of the Navy. In the next year, units and personnel from other parts of the U.S. Air Forces will transfer to the U.S. Space Force to consolidate their unit. To learn more about the U.S. Space Force, visit their website by clicking HERE.

New Service Branch + New Tools = New Needs

Space Force’s establishment will now mean that there will be new needs and tools that will require maintenance workers, just like all other equipment in our armed forces. What will this new type of maintenance worker be asked to do? Would you have interest in this new service branch?

There will also be a new need for civilian workers in the Space Force, which could be a job to consider if you are thinking about separating. It could be an opportunity to work in a new environment as a civilian, while still having a closer feel to your military background.

Fresh Career Opportunities

There are various positions that may be available in the Space Force for both military and civilian personnel. Here are a few examples:

    • Space Operations Officer: responsible for planning and executing space missions, coordinating with other branches of the military, and providing space-related expertise to commanders.

    • Space Systems Operator: responsible for operating and maintaining space-based systems and equipment, including communication and surveillance satellites.

    • Spacecraft Mechanic: responsible for repairing and maintaining spacecraft and their components.

    • Cybersecurity Specialist: responsible for protecting the Space Force’s digital systems and networks from cyber threats.

    • Intelligence Officer: responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting intelligence related to space operations.

    • Acquisitions Specialist: responsible for managing the procurement of space-related equipment and technology.

Qualifications and requirements for these positions will vary depending on the specific job, but generally, a combination of education, training, and experience will be required. For military positions, individuals must meet the eligibility requirements to join the Space Force as a military branch. For civilian positions, a relevant college degree or experience in the field may be required.

It’s also worth noting that the Space Force is a new branch of the military, so there may be additional positions and opportunities that arise as the branch continues to develop and expand.

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