The Space Force is just over four months old, but already it has rolled out its first recruiting ad. Space.com describes the video.
“The video begins with what appears to be a potential recruit staring up into a starry night sky, then shifts quickly to scenes of rocket launches, astronauts, Space Force personnel and spaceflights. A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket makes a cameo, as does the Air Force’s X-37B space plane, a reusable robotic military spacecraft that flies on classified missions. (The sixth X-37B flight, called OTV-6, will launch May 16.) There’s even a fanciful deep-space vehicle that hints at Space Force missions beyond low-Earth orbit.”
The fanciful deep-space vehicle is most intriguing, reminding us about what SpaceX’s Elon Musk tweeted when the Space Force was first established. “Star Fleet begins.”
The ad has a spiffy catchphrase. “Some people look to the stars and ask, ‘What if?’ Our job is to have an answer.”
The recruiting website makes a hint of what that answer could be. “The U.S. Space Force is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. USSF responsibilities will include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power. and organizing space forces to present to our Combat commands.”
85 graduates from the Air Force Academy have opted to join the Space Force. The new service has a Chief of Space Operations, General Jay Reynolds. Plans have been formed to transfer 16,000 current Air Force personnel to the Space Force. The new service branch is taking applications from members of the other branches for transfers to the Space Force.
The jobs that the recruitment website depict young people in uniform bending over consoles, with such titles as “Space Operations Officer,” “Targeting Analyst,” and “Cyberspace Operations Officer.” The Space Force will primarily consist of people in dimly lit centers remote controlling satellites and other space systems.
One difference between the Space Force and NASA will be the sort of people each organization recruits. The space agency prefers people will a lot of experience, military test pilots, and people with doctorates in the STEM fields. As with every other branch in the United States military, the Space Force will train young recruits to operate its sophisticated systems. The Navy has 19-year-old sailors operating nuclear reactors. The Air Force similarly have young airmen maintaining its aircraft. The Space Force will provide opportunities for young people to help defend the final frontier from a variety of threats, be they Russian or Chinese anti-satellite weapons or killer asteroids from deep space.
Besides the recruiting video and stories in the news, one source of “information” that potential recruits could get about the Space Force is the Netflix series that seems intent on mocking the idea of a space-faring military branch. General Raymond, who suggested that he would have preferred to be played by Bruce Willis rather than Steve Carell had a word of advice for his fictional counterpart. Get a haircut. Carell’s fictional Space Force commander seems a little “shaggy” for an officer in the United States military. General Raymond is bald, in the great tradition of other fictional space officers such as Jean Luc Picard. He could very well be played by Bruce Willis.
Of course, any Space Force movie or TV show with Bruce Willis in it would have a different tone than the Netflix version. For one thing, it would have a lot more explosions in it.
The question arises, will the recruiting video have its desired effect and attract a lot of young people eager to get in on the ground floor of what may evolve, in the long term, into a true spacefaring military branch. The millennial generation has a reputation of being entitlement addled and addicted to safe spaces, not the material that the Space Force is looking for.
However, Laura Forczyk, author of “The Rise of the Space Age Millennials”, has noted that plenty of people exist in that particular generation who are motivated, self-starting, and wild for the idea of working on the final frontier. Therefore, the Space Force should have no problem attracting recruits for the task of defending space from all threats, terrestrial or otherwise.