President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that his administration was “seriously thinking” of adding a sixth branch to the United States military called the “Space Force.” The President previously floated the idea back in March.
Trump was at the White House Rose Garden to present the coveted Commander-in-Chief trophy to the West Point Black Knights football team after they defeated both the Air Force and Navy teams last season. During a speech to the cadets, the President went off script and candidly mentioned adding a sixth branch of the military.
“We are actually thinking of a sixth, and that would be the Space Force,” Trump said.
“We are getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons, and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force,” Trump added.
During his speech, the President also praised the cadets for their decision to serve the country.
“You will join the greatest force for peace and justice the world has ever known. You will keep us safe. You will keep us strong. You will keep us free, and thank you for your service. And go Army … You are a special group of people and it’s an honor to have you at the White House,” Trump said.
On March 13, the President told an audience of service members at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar that he suggested to his administration the addition of a space force offhandedly, but ultimately took the idea more seriously given the importance of national security.
“Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,” Trump told the crowd. “I said, ‘Maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force,’ and I was not really serious. Then I said, ‘What a great idea,’ maybe we’ll have to do that,” the President said.
“So think of that, Space Force,” Trump continued. “Because we are spending a lot and we have a lot of private money coming in, tremendous. You saw what happened the other day, and tremendous success. From the very beginning, many of our astronauts have been soldiers and Airmen, Coast Guard men and Marines. And our service members will be vital to ensuring America continues to lead the way into the stars.”
At this point, no formal military announcement has been made regarding the proposed Space Force. However, the President during his time in office has boosted defense spending in an effort to revitalize the military.
Much of America’s space endeavors remain privatized through the likes of SpaceX, though the administration has allotted about $20 billion for NASA through 2019.
Watch Trump’s comments here: