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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

US Space Force

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US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:53 am

In the first, very vague hint of rank structure for the new US Space Force (Still to be approved by Congress), Space Policy Directive-4 was signed today, and included this passage:

"(b) The legislative proposal shall establish a Chief of Staff of the Space Force, who will be a senior military officer in the grade of General or Admiral, and who shall serve as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:29 pm

Interesting from the point of view of our niche (and somewhat nerdy) fascination with the minutiae of these things. So far they seem to be hedging their bets / keeping their options open...!


From a real-world point of view, however, my very subjective personal opinion is that this remains an un-needed political vanity project and a distraction which will waste a lot of time, effort and money -- all of which could arguably be better expended elsewhere.

The whole thing strikes me as the most glib marketing spin from the most arch of used-car-lot salesmen, diverting attention with grandiose plans to create a shiny new replacement for something that doesn't actually need to be replaced.

I fully accept that there are other equally valid opinions and that, as the saying goes, your mileage may vary...!

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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:28 am

I have no love for the current Occupant, but putting that aside, will note that Russia has had a space force since 1992, and China has had a combined space/cyber force since 2016.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:08 am

dcfowler wrote:I have no love for the current Occupant, but putting that aside, will note that Russia has had a space force since 1992, and China has had a combined space/cyber force since 2016.


So you're saying the president might be drawing inspiration from the russian on how to organise the military ? I'm sure there's nothing worrying there..... at least until they unveil the new uniforms for agents of the All-American Department of State Security.....
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:01 am

marcpasquin wrote:
dcfowler wrote:I have no love for the current Occupant, but putting that aside, will note that Russia has had a space force since 1992, and China has had a combined space/cyber force since 2016.


So you're saying the president might be drawing inspiration from the russian on how to organise the military ? I'm sure there's nothing worrying there..... at least until they unveil the new uniforms for agents of the All-American Department of State Security.....


Be snarky if you wish, but the land and naval environments have had their own services in most nations since the dawn on civilization. The air environment saw air forces coming into being between World Wars I and II. The space environment has been gradually maturing as a military domain since the 1950s, and can probably sustain a small service now; Plus, we now have the new cyber/electromagnetic warfare domain that is growing exponentially, and will undoubtably require a new service before too long. (Germany established one in 2015).
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:47 am

dcfowler wrote:
marcpasquin wrote:
dcfowler wrote:I have no love for the current Occupant, but putting that aside, will note that Russia has had a space force since 1992, and China has had a combined space/cyber force since 2016.


So you're saying the president might be drawing inspiration from the russian on how to organise the military ? I'm sure there's nothing worrying there..... at least until they unveil the new uniforms for agents of the All-American Department of State Security.....


Be snarky if you wish, but the land and naval environments have had their own services in most nations since the dawn on civilization. The air environment saw air forces coming into being between World Wars I and II. The space environment has been gradually maturing as a military domain since the 1950s, and can probably sustain a small service now; Plus, we now have the new cyber/electromagnetic warfare domain that is growing exponentially, and will undoubtably require a new service before too long. (Germany established one in 2015).


I wasn't attacking the creation of new branches when new needs arise. I was joking about the fact that, considering the nature of the accusations faced by Trump, justifying one of his executive order by saying "russia's doing it" may take on added meaning even if unintended.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:33 pm

The proposed legislation has refined things a bit.

The chief of staff and vice chief of staff will both hold the rank of general.

The senior enlisted member will be the Chief Master Sergeant of The Space Force.

https://media.defense.gov/2019/Mar/01/2 ... OPOSAL.PDF
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:03 am

Also interesting is the positioning of the proposed new Space Force within the Department of the Air Force, but separate from the Air Force itself, with a specified Under-Secretary to oversee the new service.

Unless they chose to do something very funky, such as a variation on the (naval-pattern) McPeak-style sleeve lace (which I somehow doubt...), it seems inevitable that the officer grade insignia will be the same as those already in use for the US Army and the US Air Force. It also seems likely that the enlisted grade insignia for the Space Force are likely to be derived from Air Force enlisted insignia. Assuming that this actually happens (which is by no means certain given the current composition of Congress), then I would guess that there is a good chance that initial uniforms and insignia will look a LOT like those of the USAF in the short- to medium-term, but may evolve later in to their own unique patterns and structures as the years go by — much as the Air Force insignia initially looked a lot like those of the USAAF from which it was derived. Specialty breast insignia will also likely follow USAF patterns, although it seems a safe bet that there will be some sort of generic badge for the service that will be derived from the current USAF Space Command emblems.

I’d be interested to see what they might do with service dress uniforms but my guess is that there is likely to be a fairly conservative and restrained approach, with something very close in style (if not identical to) the USAF-pattern of uniform, except with a change of the base colour to something like black or dark grey. Dark navy blue is also a definite possibility given that the Army, Navy and USMC all use this. For now, if I was a betting man, my money would be on black uniform and caps with light-grey shirts and black ties; black shoulder slides for shirts and sweaters.

Unless someone is very keen to go for a unique new look, I’d guess we will see the usual US Arms as the officer cap badge. It would also be interesting to see if they adopt the USAF-pattern clouds and lightning bolts for senior officer peak decoration (politely known as the farts-and-darts...) or if they chose to use some form of oak leaves like the army, the navy and the USMC. Each of the existing services has their own specific variations of bullion peak embroidery for senior officers, so there’s no reason why the USSF wouldn’t have something different again.

Given the likely Air Force heritage of the initial senior commanders of such a force, I can imagine that they would be more likely to favor adopting a space-specific variant of the farts-and-darts pattern, with two motifs on each side of the peak for Colonels and three on each side for general officers. What form those motifs may take is anyone’s guess! They could opt for either silver or gold as the main colour for cap badges and insignia but, again, the Air Force background would suggest silver is probably more likely. I also think that they will follow USAF traditions and that side caps are more likely to be used day-to-day than peaked service dress caps.

So that’s my guess (if it happens): USAF-style uniforms in black (or very dark grey...!) with light grey shirts and silver as the main colour for badges and officer cap embroidery and chin straps (if they don’t stick with plain black). I think they could do something a lot more interesting than that but I suspect that this is more likely what we’ll see.

I’m curious to see what you guys think.

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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:16 am

I agree with your observations. Air Force uniforms with distinguishing insignia at the outset, gradually transitioning to service-unique uniforms, insignia, and perhaps rank titles over five years or so.

I never thought a Department of the Space Force was viable at the outset, so this approach seems sensible. I would have been onboard with a combined space and cyber service. I suspect that taking this more conservative approach will get enough support in Congress to get it passed. After all, it will only have around 15,000 members to begin with, so significantly smaller than the Coast Guard.

(Incidentally, the Army "navy blue" uniform will soon be reserved for formal occasions, as the World War II-era pinks and greens will be returning to service.

I'd bet on the USSF uniforms being black.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:08 pm

I guess it's because its just seems to work better in my head, but the original concept of the United States Space Corps just sounds better to me than Space Force, which sounds a bit clunky. Maybe its just me...

I did read somewhere that, in due course, the intention, ultimately, would be to transition to a fully independent Department of the Space Force within the DoD.

The issue of uniforms and badges is rather secondary in the grand scheme of things but (a) it's what this forum is about and (b) I guess it will depend on just how much the new Chief of Staff thinks he needs to establish a specific "identity" for a nascent new service branch.

No matter what they do, there will inevitably be quite a lot of inter-service jokes about new uniforms, badges, starfleet without a starship, all that kind of thing. In fact, can you think of anything other than "Starfleet" catching on as the nickname for these guys by the other branches...? I suspect it is almost inevitable that there will be quite a lot of spoof posts with a variety of uniforms from the different eras of Star Trek once this gets up and running! Just look at all the comments when the USAF were trying out a variety of new designs for a service dress / formal uniform a few years ago...! If they do go with black or grey then I'm sure there will be plenty of pics using the Imperial forces from Star Wars too! If they are clever, they will anticipate this and get ahead of the game by playing on it themselves, rather than being all po-faced about it.

Edit:

Who am I kidding...
“Starship Troopers” is another prime candidate and comes with a ready-made list of memes for uniforms, insignia, recruiting posters, etc. Even Mel Brooks’ Star Wars parody Spaceballs has to be in the mix too...!! I’m sure everything as far back as the old Buster Crabbe black-and-white Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials will make an appearance at some point!!


On another note -- I'd completely forgotten about the official announcement on the pinks and greens (sorry, Army Greens -- they do know that no-one apart from senior leadership is ever gonna call them that, don't they...?). I guess it was always likely that some form of non-blue service / garrison dress was going to happen at some point and that the ASU would go back to being Dress Blues.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:59 pm

I’m delving back into Forum history here, but how long do you think it will be before folks start finding this thread...

http://forum.uniforminsignia.org/viewtopic.php?f=125&t=5363

...and I wonder if we’ll see images “borrowed” from posts appearing on other sites? smilies-15


It happened a while back when the AF we’re looking a new uniforms so I can imagine that people doing Google searches will find that thread!
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:08 pm

Another question is what personnel in the sub-sergeant ranks will be called.

"Spaceman" seems like a non-starter.

Ideas?
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:41 am

No idea...!!

At a wild guess, if this happens, it sounds like they will be a pretty small service and will likely be poaching suitably qualified applicants from the junior NCO grades of the other branches for a while before they are ready to start running Space Boot Camp on their own...!

Given the nature of the remit and mission they are proposing, is there even a role for basic squaddies at this point...?

Anyone else have any ideas?
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:54 am

dcfowler wrote:Another question is what personnel in the sub-sergeant ranks will be called.

"Spaceman" seems like a non-starter.

Ideas?


Space Cadet
Astroman
Red Shirt
Rocketeer

On a more serious level, I think that they might have to go with something more generic along the line of "Trooper" or "Serviceman". If they did want to include the word "space" in some way, they probably would have to create a neologism like "Space Operator" to avoid any existing connotation.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:06 am

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:I’m delving back into Forum history here, but how long do you think it will be before folks start finding this thread...

http://forum.uniforminsignia.org/viewtopic.php?f=125&t=5363

...and I wonder if we’ll see images “borrowed” from posts appearing on other sites? smilies-15


It happened a while back when the AF we’re looking a new uniforms so I can imagine that people doing Google searches will find that thread!


Everytime Trump mentions the space force, I get a sudden bump on the number of view of my deviantart account because of the fictional space force ranks I posted some years ago.

https://www.deviantart.com/marcpasquin/art/US-Space-force-table-big-572891155

While that might sound like something good, it usually means that in the next day or 2, I or someone who know me will find the picture posted somewhere as the real deal and I'll have to try and have the info corrected.

for example:

https://www.reddit.com/r/army/comments/8s34jh/space_force_rank_structure_its_happening_next/

https://www.stardomspace.com/u-s-space-force-is-it-wise-or-even-legal/
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:34 am

At a wild guess, if this happens, it sounds like they will be a pretty small service and will likely be poaching suitably qualified applicants from the junior NCO grades of the other branches for a while before they are ready to start running Space Boot Camp on their own...


The bulk of the personnel will come from Air Force Space Command (7 space wings), and a smaller number from the Army Space and Missile Defense Command (2 brigades). Even smaller numbers coming from the Navy and Marine Corps.

Per a DOD press release: "Pending passage, DOD will begin transferring personnel from the Air Force to the new service in fiscal year 2021 -- most of the personnel in the U.S. Space Force will come from the Air Force. Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel will be affected in later years."

and

"On the military side, the service will look for individuals who will build the culture of the new service. “We want people to be recruited into the Space Force as similar to the way the Marine Corps recruits Marines,” a senior official said. “We don’t recruit [Marines] into the Navy -- they go after the specific kind of people with a vision that is necessary to build that culture.”"
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:45 am

An agreement has been reached in Congress to create and fund the Space Force. A vote could occur within the next week. Once signed into law, the Department of the Air Force will establish the timetable for standing up the new service, sometime in 2020.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:08 pm

The relevant section of the House's bill call it a "Space Corps", but the conference report calls it the U.S. Space Force, so I guess that's what they'll go with. The Commandant/Commander (seen both) will be a General, and a member of the JCS. The Department of the Air Force is to come up with a transition plan. I'm supposing that this forum will see a lot of activity as the Department cooks up various transitional arrangements with respect to uniforms and ranks. (Of course transferred service members retain their grade.)
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:21 pm

The biggest question to be answered is, "Will there be Space Marines?" smilies-15
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:16 am

Space Corps was in the House bill from about a year ago. The compromise legislation, passed by the House last week, and the Senate this week both use the name Space Force, a new Title 10 armed service. As soon as the president-who-shall-not-be named signs it, probably this week, it will be law.

Chief of Space Operations it the title of the commander, who will dual-hat as COMSPACECOM for the first year, and then the billets will split. After one year, the CSO will become a permanent member of the JCS.

Presumably USAF-style grades will be used, at least initially, though that is not yet written in stone.

My understanding is that after signature, there will be a 90 day standup period to get a small HQ element established, which will deal with organization, uniforms, insignia, ranks, flags, etc. Guessing that formal establishment will occur around Oct 1, 2020, though the service should have lineage back to 1982, when Space Command was established, just like how the USAF, established in 1947, has lineage back to 1907.

Most of the operational units will be transferred over in late 2020/early 2021.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:33 am

dcfowler wrote:Space Corps was in the House bill from about a year ago. The compromise legislation, passed by the House last week, and the Senate this week both use the name Space Force, a new Title 10 armed service. As soon as the president-who-shall-not-be named signs it, probably this week, it will be law.

Chief of Space Operations it the title of the commander, who will dual-hat as COMSPACECOM for the first year, and then the billets will split. After one year, the CSO will become a permanent member of the JCS.

Presumably USAF-style grades will be used, at least initially, though that is not yet written in stone.

My understanding is that after signature, there will be a 90 day standup period to get a small HQ element established, which will deal with organization, uniforms, insignia, ranks, flags, etc. Guessing that formal establishment will occur around Oct 1, 2020, though the service should have lineage back to 1982, when Space Command was established, just like how the USAF, established in 1947, has lineage back to 1907.

Most of the operational units will be transferred over in late 2020/early 2021.


How much of the personnel being transferred *does not* come from the USAF ? It seems like if non-air force personnel only represents a small fraction of the whole, we might see "adapted air force" type insignias rather than something made from scratch. For example, medium rather than dark blue as the base colour of uniforms and NCO insignias that use the same incrementations as USAF but with straight horizontal lower bars instead of curvy ones like some experimental ones back in the 50s:

Image
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:45 am

This article has some insignias suggestion and makes the point that the Space Force could potentially be an all-officer (warrant and commissioned) service

https://www.science20.com/hontas_farmer/space_force_a_service_of_warrior_geeks_an_opinion_on_uniforms_and_insignia_with_practical_justifications-232953
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:54 pm

marcpasquin wrote:How much of the personnel being transferred *does not* come from the USAF ? It seems like if non-air force personnel only represents a small fraction of the whole, we might see "adapted air force" type insignias rather than something made from scratch. For example, medium rather than dark blue as the base colour of uniforms and NCO insignias that use the same incrementations as USAF but with straight horizontal lower bars instead of curvy ones like some experimental ones back in the 50s:

Image


Initially, all the transferred personnel will come from the Air Force, mostly Air Force Space Command (though there are other space billets elsewhere). I think that there is a high likelihood that some, though not all, Army assets will be merged with the USSF within three years. Down the road, perhaps some Navy and USMC personnel, but probably not in great numbers.

For comparison, the USAF has six space wings, and the Army has three space brigades. USN/USMC personnel seem to be concentrated at the Naval Satellite Operations Center.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:01 pm

marcpasquin wrote:This article has some insignias suggestion and makes the point that the Space Force could potentially be an all-officer (warrant and commissioned) service

https://www.science20.com/hontas_farmer/space_force_a_service_of_warrior_geeks_an_opinion_on_uniforms_and_insignia_with_practical_justifications-232953


It won't be. The Air Force doesn't have any warrant officers, and most space operators are enlisted personnel.

Roughly 75% of AFSPC personnel are enlisted.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:25 am

Was signed into law Dec. 20. Service is officially established.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:32 pm

The Space Force has stood up its web site (spaceforce.mil) and has a FAQ on this. Here's a clip from https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... t-service/:

All the fun cultural details — the Space Force emblem, what personnel will call themselves, whether they wear Star Trek uniforms — are still being formulated.

“It’s going to be really important that we get this right. A uniform. A patch. A song. It gets to the culture of a service,” Raymond said. “So we’re not going to be in a rush to get something, and not do that right. There’s a lot of work going on towards that end. I don’t think it’s going to take a long time to get that done, but that’s not something we’re going to roll out on day one.”

Air Force bases centered around space operations — specifically Peterson, Buckley and Schriever AFB in Colorado; Vandenberg AFB in California; Patrick AFB in Florida and others — will likely be renamed to reflect that they are Space Force bases, Raymond said.

The Space Force may also diverge from the Air Force’s organization into squadrons and wings, he said.

“We have an opportunity. We looked at and will continue to look at different organizational constructs,” Raymond said.

The hope is to nail down these details “much sooner than 18 months,” said a senior Air Force official who spoke to reporters on background.

Asked whether a red shirt was being considered as part of the Space Force uniform — an allusion to the Star Trek series, where personnel wearing red shirts were seen by the fanbase as being more frequently killed off than other characters — another senior Air Force official jokingly stated that particular color scheme is not currently under consideration.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:35 pm

So there's going to be a lot in this forum on this as 2020 advances.

My guess is that the USAF rank structure will mostly be preserved, but I could be wrong. If I'm right I'm wondering what will happen with E-1 through E-4: "airman" seems wrong, but so does "spaceman". I'm seeing members of the USSF already being referred to as "space operator", so that may be it.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:20 am

jrichardn2 wrote:So there's going to be a lot in this forum on this as 2020 advances.

My guess is that the USAF rank structure will mostly be preserved, but I could be wrong. If I'm right I'm wondering what will happen with E-1 through E-4: "airman" seems wrong, but so does "spaceman". I'm seeing members of the USSF already being referred to as "space operator", so that may be it.


The NDAA only mentions rank once, that the chief of space operations will be a general. The draft legislation from the DOD, also mentioned a Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force.

So, it's entirely possible that they hew closely to the USAF structure, or modify enlisted ranks...it's also not impossible that they stake out their own identity by adopting naval-ish ranks, as many have advocated (Both the differentiate the service from the USAF, and because space operations are more analogous to naval, rather than air operations.

It will be an interesting six to nine months!
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:39 pm

I wonder if we'll see a bump in Forum traffic and a re-increase in general interest in all things to do with uniforms and insignia as this progresses.

It'll be fascinating to see what choices they ultimately make and, for once, to follow this in real-time rather than to have to trawl back through historical documents.

There will still be jokes and memes a-plenty... smilies-15
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:00 am

The first report on recommendations for organization of the service is due Feb 1. Perhaps there will be some hints of ranks, seals, etc. then.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:49 am

https://www.rollcall.com/news/pentagon-talk-space-force-plans-uniforms-trump

"Besides being prepared to show Trump the logo ideas, the military leaders will be ready to talk about the subject of uniforms and to describe proposed rank structures and organizational charts, according to the Pentagon official."
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:15 pm

dcfowler wrote:https://www.rollcall.com/news/pentagon-talk-space-force-plans-uniforms-trump

"Besides being prepared to show Trump the logo ideas, the military leaders will be ready to talk about the subject of uniforms and to describe proposed rank structures and organizational charts, according to the Pentagon official."


If Trump is involved in the design of the uniforms, I would imagine that the service is going to get Gold highlights at the bare minimum.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:25 am

Let us hope that he stays out of it.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby marcpasquin » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:58 pm

Marc Pasquin
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:09 pm

Actually Congress ordered the abolishment of service-specific camouflage uniforms 2-3 years ago. So, all the services are required to wear the same thing now.
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