The Space Force has a new recruiting commercial that might finally do away with many commonly held misconceptions about the branch and its mission.
General John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations and the senior-most uniformed member of America’s space-based branch, takes center stage in the new advertisement, opening with a common (and sometimes debated) phrase used in public and private organizations that aim for the stars: “Space is hard.”
Watch the new Space Force recruiting commercial below:
“It used to be all we had to worry about was astrophysics, Kepler’s Laws [of planetary motion], gamma rays, solar flares, rocket science, black holes, and the Theory of Relativity,” Raymond says in the commercial.
“But now, we also track about 30,000 objects, orbiting at over 17,500 miles an hour, and our entire way of life depends on us to protect our satellites from attack, day and night.”
While the goal of the new commercial is obviously to recruit young Americans into the branch, Raymond’s brief but eloquent explanation of the challenges facing the Space Force might also help many Americans who still struggle to understand the branch’s mission. When the Space Force was first announced, many assumed it would mean stationing troops in orbit and fighting dramatic Star Wars-esque battles in the far-flung expanses of space. These misconceptions were exacerbated by a combination of critics who saw orbital defense as a vanity project of the Trump administration, and the internet’s love for funny memes featuring phrases like “space shuttle door gunner.”
The truth, however, is a lot more down-to-earth.
As disappointing as it may be to hear… the truth is, we probably won’t fight in space for a long time to come. In reality, the primary role of the Space Force is to monitor orbital threats, secure our existing satellite infrastructure, and develop redundancies within America’s orbital defense infrastructure. What does that mean? They’ll mostly be tracking satellites, debris, and spacecraft in orbit to ensure they’re not on a collision course, while coming up with ways to make our existing satellites tougher to hack and developing cheaper ways to get replacements into orbit quickly whenever one is destroyed or fails for some other reason.
The Space Force was established in December of 2019 and is largely made up of former members of the U.S Air Force Space Command, with many Airmen opting to transfer permanently to the new branch. To date, the Space Force largely shares an administrative footprint with the Air Force, with new recruits attending Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) alongside some additional branch-specific courses. The branch hopes to have 6,500 active-duty guardians by the end of this year.