I have been away from Space Force issues for a while. There is a lot to say, but what prompted writing is this:
“The DoD is also asking the industry for US space force uniform early design concepts.”
Excuse me, Doctor Weasel already has the concepts covered. Short answer: no Star Trek. Also, no Star Wars. No Starship Troopers, no The Expanse, no Babylon 5. The US Space Force (or its beginner version, the US Space Corps) is an outgrowth of current US services (primarily the US Air Force) and will start out performing today’s military space missions, involving unmanned orbital assets controlled from ground stations. Space Corps uniforms should be an outgrowth of current uniforms, paying due respect to USAF and other US military traditions.
A new uniform is not urgent. Personnel transferred to the Space Corps can continue to wear USAF (or USA, USN, USMC) uniforms until the new uniforms are available. If uniform supply takes a few years, so be it.
There will be service dress uniforms and utility uniforms. Utility uniforms are easy: ‘Scorpion’ Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniforms, same as the Army is wearing and the Air Force is moving into now. If it’s good enough for Space Corps’ parent USAF, and USAF’s parent US Army, it’s good enough for Space Corps. Now is the time to dispense with an unnecessary uniform: the flight suit. Space operators do not fly airplanes. They control satellites and space launch vehicles from the ground. Flight suits are completely unnecessary and inappropriate. Space Corps should assert its independence from the flying part of the Air Force and ditch the flying uniform. Space operations can be performed in either service uniforms or utilities, as with any other activity done on the ground, indoors.
It looks as though security forces personnel will not transfer into the Space Corps at this point, so USAF will provide physical security to the Space Corps for the time being. If in the future USSC/USSF has its own security forces, they should ditch the beret, a completely non-functional piece of headgear, in favor of the same patrol cap worn by the rest of the service. Other uniform items (brassards) can be used to make security forces distinctive.
So what about space suits? Space Force gotta have space suits, right? Sure, for individuals actually going into space. There won’t be many, same as today. No problem. Maybe even ‘space activity suits‘ as opposed to the air pressure suits we have today.
Now on to service uniforms. These should reflect a distinctive style that represents the service. I propose Space Corps/Force uniform design follow these principles
USSF uniform principles
– Honor USAF and USA legacy
– Removing the service coat should leave the person in a valid uniform; no need to change shirt, tie, or anything else
– Same uniforms for officers and enlisted
– No pure white or pure black cloth; use a deep blue and silver-grey
– No choker collars
– No summer white uniforms
– ladies’ pants or knee length skirts for service uniforms
– pants/skirts same shade as coat
USSF Service Dress
~ cut: based on Army dress blues and/or Air Force service dress; represents heritage of the two services who make up most of the units that will become USSF
~ jacket: navy blue with some silver trim
~ pants: navy blue, possibly with a silver stripe down the leg
~ tie: same navy blue shade as pants & jacket
~ shirt: light grey (represents silver)
~ headgear: AF-style service and garrison caps in Navy blue; no berets for anybody;
insignia on front of service hat same as USAF & USA
~ grade: officers on shoulders, enlisted on sleeves
USSF Mess dress
~ combine features from AF and Army mess dress, in Navy blue and silver
~ ladies’ long skirts or pants for mess dress,
qualified operators would wear Space Badge after qualifying
skills/occupational badges earned in another service can still be worn
new occupational badges (other than space badge) will not be issued
shield on pocket for security forces per existing AF rules
missile/missile operations badges on pocket per existing AF rules
Officer grades and insignia will be the same as US Army and Air Force. Warrant Officer grades as US Army, to accommodate warrant officers who transfer in. Enlisted grades based on USAF, but modified for a somewhat distinct appearance. Maybe replace star with earth and orbits from space badge.
E9 Chief Master Sergeant
E8 Senior Master Sergeant
E7 Master Sergeant
E6 Technical Sergeant
E5 Staff Sergeant
E3 Spaceman First Class
E1 Spaceman Recruit
USSF seal, other logos
The seal will be based on space badge, Earth with two orbits and two star-like satellites shown