On Tuesday, while presenting the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy to the Army Football team for their victories over both the Air Force and the Navy, President Trump seemed to suggest a sixth branch of the Armed Forces is a possibility:
We’re actually thinking of a sixth and that would be the Space Force does that make sense the Space Force, you probably haven’t heard that I’m just telling you now this is perhaps because we’re getting very big in space both militarily and for other reasons and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force.
This is not the first time President Trump has floated the idea of a Space Force. In March, while speaking at a military event in San Diego, he echoed similar thoughts:
My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war fighting domain, just like land, air, and sea. We may even have a Space Force, develop another one, Space Force, we’ll have the Air Force, will have the Space Force. We have the Army the Navy, you know I was saying it the other day cause we are doing a tremendous amount of work in space. I said maybe we need a new force will call it the Space Force, I was not really serious, but then I said what a great idea, maybe will have to do that. That could happen that could be the big breaking story, look at all those people back there, look at them, ah, Fake News.
Twitter was quick to respond:
— You Were Warned (@RufusKings1776) May 1, 2018
Trump appoints William Shatner as head of Space Force.
— Michael Blackman (@mikerblackman) May 2, 2018
Instructors at new Space Force Academy… pic.twitter.com/mobFJ1MxMw
— Ian Winer (@Ian_Winer) May 1, 2018
While the idea of a Space Force might seem out of the realm of possibilities, according to The Hill, some lawmakers have already tried to make it a reality:
Last year, the strategic forces subcommittee sought to create a new military branch that would be dedicated to space. The space corps proposal was in the first version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House last year, but was stripped out in negotiations with the Senate because of fierce opposition from the Pentagon. Instead, the version of the NDAA signed into law required the Air Force to study the possibility of creating such a military branch.
CNN News covered the bill in an article on July 8th 2017:
the House Armed Services Committee voted 60 to 1 in favor of a bill that would, among many other things, create the first new branch of the armed forces since the Air Force’s founding in 1947.
The Space Corps would fall under the Air Force in the same way the Marine Corps does the Navy. The chief of staff of the Space Corps, a presidential appointee with a six-year term, would be on equal footing with the Air Force’s chief of staff. Both would report to the Secretary of the Air Force.
As a reminder we are still hitching rides with Russia to reach the International Space Station.