Four new recruits gathered at the Fort George G. Meade Military Entrance Processing Station, preparing to take an oath and sign a commitment to join the military’s newest branch.
Each raised their hand Tuesday morning to repeat the oath and make their commitment to serve as the new members of the U.S. Space Force.
The four recruits are some of the first to directly enlist into the Space Force. The new branch, formed in 2019, has so far received officers and enlisted airmen from the Air Force, said Lt. Gen. David Thompson, vice chief of space operations. All the current members of Space Force transferred from the Air Force, including 86 officers commissioned from the Air Force Academy this past spring.
As Space Force is a new branch, the new members will help shape the culture, Thompson said.
“But we want to bring in that passion and that energy and some of those new ideas from the rest of the population,” he said.
The four members from the Baltimore processing station, located at Fort Meade, will join three more recruits from Colorado in Texas, where all seven will undergo 7 1/2 weeks of basic training, according to a statement released by the Space Force.
Each of the four recruits at Fort Meade wore black shirts with the new Space Force logo — similar to the logo worn by members of Starfleet in the fictional Star Trek entertainment series — on it. One of the recruits quipped that Space Force is a little bit similar to the Air Force meeting Star Trek.
While the Space Force is still in the process of fully forming, the members are already doing real missions, Thompson said. This includes missile warning, providing GPS and keeping track of debris in space. These are tasks that had been done by Air Force.
“First of all, it’s an exciting time,” Thompson said. “It’s always an exciting time to serve the nation. It’s an exciting time to serve it in space, and I will tell ya, there’s a lot right now that divides us as a nation and there’s a lot of stress, but I think there’s broad support and excitement and understanding about what we need and who we need and what we need to be able to do.”
The Space Force is also tasked with protecting freedom of access to space, said Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, senior enlisted adviser of the U.S. Space Force.
“Space enables modern life,” Towberman said.
Three of the recruits hailed from Virginia with one from Pennsylvania.
Delvano Brown, 31, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, gravitated toward the Space Force because of its mission to protect and maintain satellites. It is an honor to serve and be a part of the military, he said.
“There’s something profound about serving your country,” Brown said.
Benjamin Nevoraski, 22, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, had been accepted into the Air Force when he was told about the Space Force. He is looking forward to starting job training after basic training.
“It’s the new big thing,” Nevoraski said. “I get to be one of, if not the first, people to go in. I’ve always had a fascination for space technology.”
He knew there would be a ceremony when they first enlisted, but having it on live television with a four-star general in attendance was bigger than he expected.
Giahna Brown, 20, of Woodbridge, Virginia, also did not expect the spectacle when enlisting, but she thought it was amazing.
“It was a really great opportunity,” she said. “I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”
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She wanted to join the military because it provides stability and structure, Brown said. She is looking forward to job training, new experiences and new friends.
Amy Biggers, 19, of Virginia Beach, wanted to join the military in order to better herself, she said.
“And for the adventure,” Biggers said.
She first looked at the Navy, but the Air Force had the most promising job opportunities. When the Space Force became an option, she decided to join that branch.
Like Brown, she is looking forward to making new friends and for the opportunities following basic training.
“Who knows, maybe I’ll make more history,” she said.
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