Please read the companion blog post to this article “Space Force Organization” for specific information on USSF organizational structure.
On January 17, 2020, the USSF posted a image of General Raymond in the “new” Space Force OCPs on Twitter:
— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) January 18, 2020
In the response to questions and some not so nice comments, USSF responded that the “USSF is utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one.” The USSF OCP configuration differs in several ways from the USAF configuration:
- Introduction of the “U.S. SPACE FORCE” tape.
- Use of dark blue thread for badges, nametapes, U.S. SPACE FORCE tape and badges versus spice brown for the USAF.
- Use of a color flag worn on the wearer’s left sleeve versus the OCP “space brown” flag worn on the wearer’s right sleeve.
General Raymond is also the Commander of US Space Command (USSPACECOM) which is why is is wearing the OCP version of the USSPACECOM patch. AF instructions at the time dictated the wear of the Higher Headquarters patch on the wearer’s left sleeve versus the unit of assignment. So this appears to differ from the USAF wear guidance.
At the time of the photo’s release General Raymond was the sole member of the USSF. Since that time, USSF has added some some graduates of the US Air Force Academy and Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force, Roger Towberman. With the plan transfer of USAF personnel to the USSF in September, there should be additional guidance forthcoming on OCP wear. It will be interesting if USSF personnel wear full color patches versus OCP versions on this uniform.
On January 24, 2020, President Trump revealed the USSF (the service) seal in a tweet:
After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military! pic.twitter.com/TC8pT4yHFT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020
According to an article in TIME, the President personally selected the seal from four options presented by General John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations and other senior Pentagon leadership. In the article, TIME states that the President tweeted the new design nine days later without coordinating with the Pentagon. This seems to be corroborated by the lack of a corresponding public announcement on the USSF website. The USSF (the service) subsequently posted the following information on Facebook:
Viewers quickly picked up on the strong resemblance to the “Starfleet Command” seal from the TV and movies series Star Trek. George Takei who played the character “Sulu” in the original TV series (who is not a fan of the President) even jumped in on the discussion:
There is nothing sacred any more. pic.twitter.com/ubyy4OIZrp
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 24, 2020
Ahem. We are expecting some royalties from this… https://t.co/msYcJMlqjh
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 24, 2020
Within weeks of the announcement, the seal was quickly made into a patch by many entrepreneurs seeking to make a quick buck. None of these patches were approved or authorized by the USSF and despite the existence of OCP versions, are not officially authorized for wear by USSF personnel as the seal is not meant to be worn. The entrepreneurs are actually violating US law as the seal is not authorized for public or commercial use and reserved for internal, official use only (see the Air and Space Forces Intellectual Property Management website for more information).
While it had a seal, the USSF lacked a service logo like the stylized wing star used by the USAF. On July 22, 2020, the USSF released its official logo and motto. The logo is described in the graphic provided by US Space Force:
Like the seal, viewers quickly pointed out the resemblance to another well-known logo:
The Space Force logo is solid, and the rockets should look awesome with screaming chickens on them. Kind of like Romulan Birds of Prey. pic.twitter.com/hVykRfivOV
— Gary Gastelu (@garygastelu) July 23, 2020
It’s now only a matter of time before we see embroidered version of this logo in the wild.
With a seal and logo, the only thing now missing was the emblems for the different USSF echelons. USSF Public Affairs recently put out the following slides on the approved shapes for USSF organizational emblems:
The shapes clearly depart from the shield and disc shapes currently authorized by USAF. While the shapes have been determined, there is no further information provided on the rules which will govern emblem design. The Delta, Garrison and Squadron shapes don’t lend themselves to the use of mottos or spelled out unit designations. It will be interesting to see if USSF adopts something closer to the Army standards where there are no inscriptions on their organizational emblems. Stay tuned!