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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

US Space Force

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines

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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:38 am

I'm still not sure either way about navy vs. army / airforce ranks for the USSF. In a way, I don't think it matters and what will be, will be...

Having said that, dcfowler's comments have made me go back and take another look at some design concepts I stopped working on quite a while ago.

It seems clear that black and "platinum" (likely hyperbole for aluminium thread "bullion" but it sounds good...!) are where the main color preferences lie for the new service's visual identity, with a little blue from the seal as the the lesser accent color.

I have therefore looked again at naval type uniforms and insignia and I have re-worked my abandoned concepts, along with updated versions of my designs from previous posts to come up with what I think is a very workable and fully structured approach to a series of uniforms for the USSF.

The new cap devices include a US eagle; using the Delta and Globe symbol on its own just had no obvious National symbolism, which seemed wrong. I did try using the silver version of the US Arms, as used by the USAF, but that didn't look right on a more Navy-type uniform so this was the compromise -- and it gives the USSF its own distinctive badge.

The main service dress is black, with "platinum" as the main metal color for insignia. I have tried to incorporate elements of design from several established military and naval precedents in order to create something that is traditional, smart and realistic rather than veering towards Sci-Fi and fantasy. These uniforms have to work and look "right" alongside those of the US Army, USN, USAF, USCG and so on.

I am conscious that I have not included variants pf any of these uniforms for female service members. This is, I feel, a glaring omission but I have really spent way too much time on this already and I would hope that the male versions will at least give a general idea of how the uniforms could look. Nevertheless, I acknowledge this lack and apologise for it. smilies-08

For the Enlisted members' insignia, I have taken my previous concept and reduced the more Army- or USAF-like number of chevrons and re-modelled the sequence to give a more naval appearance. I did have a version that included an eagle perched on the upper inverted chevron but it looked just too cluttered and lost some of the sleek styling of these insignia. In lieu of Navy-type specialty marks, I have used the Pole Star element from the USSF seal for the center of the CPO insignia. It seems unlikely that there will be a SEAC from the USSF any time soon but I have included that variation simply for completeness. The exact grade titles for enlisted members are obviously open to debate so, for now, I have largely transitioned to existing naval ranks, with the more generic titles from my previous versions for E-1 to E-4.

Some of the enlisted insignia include white elements for contrast and detailing when worn at full size but the designs are such that the insignia can also be worn in monochrome, subdued colors, or miniature metal versions and should still remain identifiable. They are not dependent upon color for grade recognition.


Click on the images for large, high resolution versions.


Service Dress Black:

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The USN has their khaki uniforms alongside formal blue uniforms and the US Army is just re-introducing a version of the old "pinks and greens" alongside their own formal blue uniforms, so it seemed reasonable to include a more "working dress" variant for the USAF. I imagine this will be day-to day office wear or perhaps an intermediate formal wear on bases than just combat utility uniforms. It could also be a more formal variant for warmer weather if made in a lighter fabric.

I anticipate accessory items like a black sweater and a black windbreaker jacket with epaulette shoulder straps for occasions when the uniform coat is not required -- and these would be worn with the soft shoulder marks shown above. (Sweater and/or windbreaker could also be authorised with the black uniform for non-formal accessions, as could a black version of the garrison cap, although I have not shown this).

If the black formal dress looks not unlike the old USAF black uniform from previous posts, and the Army is re-introducing "pinks and green,s" then perhaps it is no surprise that this uniform is not entirely dissimilar to the USN gray uniforms of WW2.


Service Dress Gray:

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Combat utility uniforms we have already seen so I figured the remaining uniforms designs for now should be the interesting ones that include various bits of detailing.

The next up is temperate formal evening wear -- not something that will get a huge amount of use, I admit, but all the services have them and I’m sure USSF members will want to look good at events alongside the Army, Navy, USAF and definitely won’t want to be out-done by the USMC...! smilies-23

All-black looked very severe and not a little bland, so adding just a little bit of distinctive detail from the blue of the USSF Seal (and a nod to USAF heritage) seemed appropriate and, again, helps to give the USSF a very distinctive look of their own. I have used peaked lapels for officers and shawl collars for enlisted but a more egalitarian approach could use the same for both groups — I would suggest the peak lapel, even though USAF heritage would be to use the shawl collar, this is because the peak lapel echoes the shape of the Delta symbol.


Dinner Dress Black:

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Finally, I wondered about a proper ceremonial Full Dress uniform. Given that Service Dress Black will cover most eventualities, I see this not as something that will be worn very regularly but more as a proper, very smart, formal uniform for ceremonial occasions -- which is where the Army now seems to be positioning its blue uniforms. This is my attempt at something much better looking than the very odd variation on the Band uniform that the USAF came up with for the CSAF and the CMSAF a few years back. I imagine that very few of these uniforms would be personal issue and, more realistically, they would be held as a small central stock, to be used as required for formal ceremonial events.

I admit that using the stand-up closed collar is my one nod towards a more Sci-Fi look, but the design is very much from the style of the USMC blue uniforms, the USN white uniforms and several contemporary British formal uniforms. The use of special hard shoulder marks which have the more standard officer insignia may seem a bit unusual. Yes, the uniform looks OK without them but the addition of shoulder boards for officers (and shoulder straps for enlisted members) certainly notches up the formality of the uniform. It's also another a nod to the USAF heritage as these are, essentially the USAF formal shoulder boards, albeit with the more "naval" type arrangement for the flag officer insignia. There are, and certainly have been, other uniforms which have also used the usual officer insignia alongside sleeve lace so this is not all that unusual.


Full Dress Black:

Image not available


Finally, a word about Warrant Officers. I have no idea if the USSF will ultimately choose to activate the W-1 to W-5 grades but I guess there is at least the possibility that they will assimilate members in those grades from other services -- and it also seems that, given the nature of its role, this will be a service rather heavy on technical experts. I have therefore chosen to at least include options should they choose to use these grades. The Army has "upgraded" the uniforms for its own Warrant Officers, adding oak leaves to visor peaks for senior gates and essentially putting all WOs into standard officer uniform, complete with relevant branch detailing. That being the case, I have here also put the potential USSF WOs into standard officer uniforms.

For their insignia, I have used USN/USMC pattern with black enamel in place of blue or red. Rather than using the USN pattern of sleeve lace, I have tried to create something that works alongside the other officer insignia but is unique to the USSF. WOs therefore have essentially officer-pattern lace that looks a bit like the lace for Lieutenant Junior Grade but the 1/4 in. upper stripe is silver and the 1/2 in. stripe below is black lace, with an embroidered version of the rank bar placed centrally below the Delta and Globe emblem. This is the same for all grades and it is the gold or silver bar that differentiates them. The only exception is CW5 which adds another 1/4 in. silver lace stripe below the black one.

I have notionally allocated a senior officer decorated visor to CW5; it seemed difficult to include CW4 / CW3 if, following naval pattern, the O-4 Lieutenant Commander grade doesn't qualify (even though other equivalent "field grade" Majors in other services do get visor decoration!). This is obviously open to debate...! If it was felt appropriate to extend this to, say, CW4 then that grade should also add the second 1/4 in. silver stripe below the black lace with the rank bar. The entire pattern is carried over to the hard shoulder marks in just the same way as for all other officers. The central positioning of the rank bars on the soft shoulder marks is also deliberate way of giving the WO grades their own identity.


Please do let me know what you think. As ever, this is very much a hypothetical concept and it is very much open to discussion!

I doubt anyone from the DoD or USSF HQ is watching but if you do happen to be from the Office of the Chief of Space Operations and you would like to borrow these and pass them to General Raymond then please feel free!

smilies-23 smilies-16 smilies-29
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:38 am

Even if rank insignia and titles remain a question mark for awhile, we should see the general gist of the uniform concept shortly.

They announced that they will will begin test wearing at various bases soon to get feedback.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:49 am

Sounds fair. They need to be able to start making progress with this.

I’m sure that it’s not their biggest most important issue (they do have uniforms that are functional and serviceable for now) but it must be very frustrating for them not to be able to move forward, perhaps more so if there’s a lot of background white noise about rank titles / rank marks / uniforms (and so on) which is a continuous distraction from other organizational and operational issues that are more immediately important.

I can fully understand why Chief Towberman said words to the effect of “look, if Congress says I have to be MCPO instead of CMSgt then fine, whatever — lets just get on with it!”
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:31 pm

So far, the only announcement has been that the new term for the personnel in the USSF will be "Guardian" (not airman, spaceman, etc.). "Guardians of the Galaxy" jokes aside, I suppose that the lower rank titles might be Guardian Recruit, Guardian, Guardian First Class (or something along those lines).
With a new administration to be installed later this month, does anyone think that this whole thing might get terminated and put back to being the US Space Command of the USAF, or is the process too far along to scrap?
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:27 pm

FWIW the press seem to think that the Biden Administration will stay the course. See for example: https://spacenews.com/biden-likely-to-s ... vestments/

That means probably in the second quarter we'll see the Space Force's proposed uniforms and rank insignia, and we'll have fun. :-)
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:39 am

It will.

It was created by an act of Congress with bipartisan support, so that would be pretty tough to undo anyway.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:40 am

It was reported on the Space Force subreddit, that an internal USSF personnel system lists these as the USSF rank titles:

E-1 Specialist 1
E-2 Specialist 2
E-3 Specialist 3
E-4 Specialist 4
E-5 Sergeant
E-6 Technical Sergeant
E-7 Master Sergeant
E-8 Senior Master Sergeant
E-9 Chief Master Sergeant
Officers: As for the Air Force

It is unknown if these titles are final or interim.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Helios88 » Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:38 pm

dcfowler wrote:It was reported on the Space Force subreddit, that an internal USSF personnel system lists these as the USSF rank titles:

E-1 Specialist 1
E-2 Specialist 2
E-3 Specialist 3
E-4 Specialist 4
E-5 Sergeant
E-6 Technical Sergeant
E-7 Master Sergeant
E-8 Senior Master Sergeant
E-9 Chief Master Sergeant
Officers: As for the Air Force

It is unknown if these titles are final or interim.

Not the most vivid imagination I've ever seen.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:16 pm

I know we're all just speculating ... but if members of the USSF are to be called, ahem, Guardians, then wouldn't the lower ranks be variations on that. Members of the Air Force, E-1 to O-10, are "Airmen", so I see the first version of the ranks being like:

E-1 - Guardian Basic
E-2 - Guardian
E-3 - Guardian First Class
E-4 - Senior Guardian
E-5 up - as in Air Force
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:00 am

Sailors and coastguardsmen are still seamen, firemen, airmen, etc.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:27 pm

Rank titles confirmed, no insignia yet. Also, no idea what will happen when the USSF starts ingesting Army warrant officers.

Image
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:02 pm

It's interesting to note that there are no WO ranks mentioned in that announcement. The specialist ranks replace the "airman" ranks of the USAF.
I would speculate that the announced ranks will look pretty much like the USAF ranks but on black backing and the USAF star replaced with the USSF delta. I don't expect much deviation from the USAF, but I wouldn't mind being surprised. Unfortunately, I don't think we will see anything as interesting or creative as was posted in this thread, just a boring repurposing of USAF insignia. It will be kind of like the USN and USCG use pretty much the same rank insignia, just on a different colour of uniform.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:03 pm

OK, so I take back the part about replacing the star with the delta. Forgot that the CMSgt of the USSF had the delta in the space between the upper and lower stripes. So most likely will be like the USAF insignia, except on black backing. Wonder if the stripes will be silver (platinum) or just white (like AF)?
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:10 am

Well, you could have the delta, but without the globe and orbit.

The last USAF warrant officer retired around 1992. Basically, when they split from the Army, the stopped appointing new ones.

The USSF will have warrant officer rank by law, but it doesn't have to use them.

So, they could accept Army signal warrant officers and maintain them in WO ranks until they retire, or they could commission them in a commensurate officer rank. Or, they could develop a WO program, but I'm not confident that they will.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:07 am

Of course, didn't know that about US WOs, thanks for the info.

But you are right, they could use a delta to replace the star in the middle of the lower stripes (not sure what they're called - they're not chevrons or rockers, kind of a combo of both). I'm thinking it will be the alt. delta design (the one that resembles the Pontiac logo).
Anyway, will be interesting to see how things shake out with the final design of the insignia and uniforms.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:22 pm

One interesting tidbit is that E-4 is Specialist 4, not Sergeant; and E-5 is Sergeant, not Staff Sergeant--as in the Air Force.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:26 pm

jrichardn2 wrote:One interesting tidbit is that E-4 is Specialist 4, not Sergeant; and E-5 is Sergeant, not Staff Sergeant--as in the Air Force.


Yea, found that strange as well. Even more so if the insignia winds up being very similar to the the USAF. How do they justify ranks of the same level (E-5) being different, especially when SGT is normally junior to a SSGT? Kind of strange.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:49 am

Comment by CMSSF Towberman to a Q&A:

"Question: At what point should we expect new rank insignia?

Answer: Some time in March we’ll start surveys and focus groups, both internal and external, to look at enlisted rank insignia. We’ll bin those ideas into 4 categories: AF-esque, Marine/Army-esque, not like Army or AF but not unlike them, one will be the wild idea (but not as wild as some people want). That will go out for feedback. Maybe we can make an announcement in early summer, so that we can start wearing it by 1 October. Should be on our way to new service dress by then as well.

About the specialists. We see them as 1 group. We see it as 1 rank with 4 levels. Competency, merit-based levels that are not time-bound. If you act the part, you’ll level up."
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:31 am

The Space Force is considering adding the additional ranks of Technical Sergeants 2, 3 and 4 at grades E-7, 8 and 9, similar to the old Army specialist ranks at those grades.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/202 ... -says.html
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:23 pm

The four enlisted rank insignia options being surveyed by the USSF:

Image
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:22 pm

Wow, totally underwhelming. Not much imagination used. The top design is obviously just the USAF ranks with the USSF symbol in the center. The next 2 designs are basically the same design just with the chevrons pointing up or down. The fourth one (I'm assuming the "wild" design idea) is kinda strange. Why have it on a hexagon backing if the top stripes are rounded??
Why are all these designs done with a blue backing, considering that the USSF uniform is supposed to be black?
Maybe they did this on purpose (boring options) because they really were planning on using the USAF ranks with the USSF symbol? The top row design does look the best out of the 4 choices.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby sketor7558 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:00 am

dcfowler wrote:The four enlisted rank insignia options being surveyed by the USSF:

Image


I think the concepts from Medic_in_Uniform are better than these.. smilies-06
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:21 am

Why have it on a hexagon backing if the top stripes are rounded??


The hexagon is being used in a number of elements of USSF symbolism, as it is the sixth service.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Torg003 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:10 pm

I think the concepts from Medic_in_Uniform are better than these.. smilies-06

Totally agree.

The hexagon is being used in a number of elements of USSF symbolism, as it is the sixth service.

Didn't realize that, thanks for the info.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby jrichardn2 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:24 pm

I did notice the use of 4 chevrons in the non-Air Force designs. I think that's kind of interesting in a U.S. context. (It's used for Garrison Sergeant Major in the British Army, and Staff Sergeant in the RCMP--and quite likely elsewhere in the Commonwealth.)
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Silverturtle » Mon Mar 08, 2021 11:31 am

Being ex-USAF, and more than a little interested:

I perused the four possibilities. Here is my opinion:

1. No. Just no. I did not like the change in the senior NCO stripes then, and I still don't like them now.

2 and 3 have merit, even though they're just flipped images.

4? Since the Space Force should be distinctive, this is my choice. The only problem I see -- if the USSF is going to be loosely based on the USAF; where will the "diamond" be for the First Sergeants in the E7 - E9 ranks?

smilies-17
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:37 am

Important to note than none of these will be adopted "as is." They're using these as models to garner feedback on what the final design will be.

I've seen some pretty decent modifications of Option 4, so hopefully those will make it up the chain. Done right, that would be my choice.

Of 2 & 3, I'd pick point down.

I actually like the newer USAF stripes, and don't hate proposal 1, (USN and USCG are close in design), but would hope they'd pick something more distinct.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Silverturtle » Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:08 pm

dcfowler wrote:Important to note than none of these will be adopted "as is." They're using these as models to garner feedback on what the final design will be.

I've seen some pretty decent modifications of Option 4, so hopefully those will make it up the chain. Done right, that would be my choice.

Of 2 & 3, I'd pick point down.

I actually like the newer USAF stripes, and don't hate proposal 1, (USN and USCG are close in design), but would hope they'd pick something more distinct.


I'm inclined to agree on a more distinct type of insignia; and heartened to hear that these are proposals and each set is not set in stone.

Upon further review: Option 3 harkens back to the Army Specialist days of the 60's, with Specialist 4 through 9 ranks. This would elevate option 3 to my second choice.

I guess all my "rantings" and opposition can be summed up thusly: Find a way to denote each level [specialist, NCO, Senior NCO] in a distinctive manner, yet do it in a traditional manner. smilies-10
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby dcfowler » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:24 am

They are also discussing adding tech sergeant ranks at E-6 through 9, so those would be additional variations.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue May 11, 2021 10:27 am

Silverturtle wrote:Being ex-USAF, and more than a little interested:

I perused the four possibilities. Here is my opinion:

1. No. Just no. I did not like the change in the senior NCO stripes then, and I still don't like them now.

2 and 3 have merit, even though they're just flipped images.

4? Since the Space Force should be distinctive, this is my choice. The only problem I see -- if the USSF is going to be loosely based on the USAF; where will the "diamond" be for the First Sergeants in the E7 - E9 ranks?

smilies-17


SF senior leadership have been pretty clear: it has been queried several times and, while there will be senior enlisted leaders and advisors, they're not implementing First Sergeants within the SF structure. I suspect it has something to do with the relatively small size and organization of the Branch.
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue May 11, 2021 11:05 am

Torg003 wrote:Wow, totally underwhelming. Not much imagination used. The top design is obviously just the USAF ranks with the USSF symbol in the center. The next 2 designs are basically the same design just with the chevrons pointing up or down. The fourth one (I'm assuming the "wild" design idea) is kinda strange. Why have it on a hexagon backing if the top stripes are rounded??
Why are all these designs done with a blue backing, considering that the USSF uniform is supposed to be black?
Maybe they did this on purpose (boring options) because they really were planning on using the USAF ranks with the USSF symbol? The top row design does look the best out of the 4 choices.


The lack of imagination in these is striking. There was much disquiet among Guardians at just how poor these efforts were. There were also several well-liked alternative designs which did not make it anywhere near the survey. Some of these were very good and distinctive in terms of both design and ease of grade differentiation, certainly better than what they presented to service members.

The top row is, literally, the USAF insignia with the central star replaced with the emblem from the USSF seal. It's also the one variation that the majority of SF service members absolutely did NOT want...!

The middle two designs are essentially a concept submitted by a non-SF service member and, just for variation, it was repeated but inverted. It's very bland and uninspiring design to start with and turning it upside-down really doesn't make it any better!

The bottom row is based upon a version submitted by an actual SF service member -- but it was then hacked about by the uniform project office and, in doing so, lost almost all of its significant detail and meaning.

dcfowler is correct in that the hexagon has been used in several places as a way of denoting SF as the "sixth" service. The CMSSF flag is a good example.

As I understand it, this option was by far the most popular amongst responses to the survey. It was certainly the most distinctively "different" and the one most likely to give SF its own visual identity.

The Guardian who created the original concept that the fourth row was based on has re-submitted several versions that "correct" the butchery they did to his design and which are much closer to his actual concept, with clear visual distinction between the three tiers within the SF Enlisted grade structure:
Specialists (E-1 to E-4), NCOs (E-5 and E-6) and SNCOs (E-7 and above).

For what it's worth, the Delta symbol was apparently supposed to progressively rise to higher positions within the insignia as you progress from Specialist to NCO to SNCO. Equally, the arcs over the top of the SNCO insignia were designed that way to suggest increasing altitude of orbital levels as one progresses through the SNCO grades. A nice idea for a Space Force that is mostly related to orbital hardware! The top "point" of the hexagon-shape will allow the backing to accommodate the apex of the Delta symbol without a lot of awkward cut-outs (much easier to sew on with only six straight sides...!).

It seems likely that there will be another round of tweaking and some further form of survey/feedback from Guardians. Given their initial popularity, it also seems likely that at least some of the option(s) will probably be based upon updated and streamlined versions of the hexagon-based insignia from the fourth row, taking into account the feedback from the first survey.

I'm kinda interested to see how all this pans-out and if they pay a bit more attention to detail after the very negative responses to the initial rather underwhelming proposals!
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Re: US Space Force

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue May 11, 2021 11:14 am

dcfowler wrote:They are also discussing adding tech sergeant ranks at E-6 through 9, so those would be additional variations.


Yeah, that came pretty much straight from some comments made by the CMSSF, didn't it?

He mentioned the possibility of exploring a (non-leadership) parallel "technical" promotion track, notionally described as TechSgt2/3/4 at grades E-7/8/9.

It sounds like it's not a particularly advanced idea just yet and I suspect that the potential for any form of different insignia for E-7 to E-9 Tech grades will be only be something that happens as-and-when they get around to actually implementing those grades.
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