Vice President Pence announced the new term for U.S. Space Force members on Friday during an event celebrating the branch’s first birthday on December 20. Pence said Space Force members will now be called “Guardians.”
“It is my honor, on behalf of the president of the United States, that henceforth, the men and women of the United States Space Force will be known as Guardians,” Pence announced.
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come,” he said after standing applause.
After the event, the U.S. Space Force account confirmed the official service member name after “a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public.”
The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies.— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) December 18, 2020
“The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies,” the Space Force added.
Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, and Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller also spoke to commemorate the Space Force’s first birthday.
Raymond remarked that the Space Force has “made history together.” Barrett said the Space Force was “defending the high ground for our nation.” Miller said children will once again aspire to be astronauts because of the Space Force.
For the anniversary of the Space Force, NASA Astronaut and U.S. Air Force Col. Mike Hopkins – who is currently aboard the International Space Station – officially transferred into the Space Force via live stream on Friday. The transfer ceremony begins at approximately 9:05 in the video below.
Astronaut Mike Hopkins transfer ceremony
Watch as Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond administers the transfer of Col. Mike Hopkins from the USAF to the USSF aboard the Space Station. #HBDSpaceForce #SemperSupraPosted by United States Space Force on Friday, December 18, 2020
Ahead of the birthday, two U.S. Air Force bases in Florida were recently renamed to Space Force bases. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was renamed Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, while Patrick Air Force Base became Space Force Base.
Following his promise to make Space Force a reality, President Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act into law on Dec. 20, 2019, which included the authorization to establish the Space Force as an individual military branch.
During the signing, Trump had said, “Space is the world’s newest warfighting domain. Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough. But very shortly, we’ll be leading by a lot. The Space Force will help us deter aggression and control the ultimate high ground.”