The U.S. military has allegedly begun recruitment for the new Space Force, which will serve as the sixth branch of the armed forces.
A recruitment office just five blocks from the White House now has a sign asking those who pass by if they’re “interested in the Space Force,” and saying, “You’ve got to start somewhere,” according to the Washington Examiner.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 18, which directed the Department of Defense to create the new military branch focused on defense and security of space.
During the signing, Trump stated that his administration “is reclaiming America’s heritage as the world’s greatest space-faring nation.”
“The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers,” Trump said.
“But our destiny beyond the Earth is not just a matter of national identity, but also a matter of national security.
“When it comes to defending America, it’s not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.”
Shortly after the signing, on June 19, Air Force leaders sent a message to airmen confirming the plans. It said, “The president’s statement to the National Space Council adds emphasis to the Air Force position—space is a warfighting domain and the entire national security space enterprise must continue to enhance lethality, resilience and agility to meet the challenge posed by potential adversaries.”
“We look forward to working with Department of Defense leaders, Congress, and our national security partners to move forward on this planning effort,” the message said.
It’s still unclear, however, whether Congress will attempt to challenge Trump’s executive order. Congress was previously pushing to instead create a “Space Corps” as a branch of the Air Force, rather than creating an independent military branch, and it is still waiting for an August report from the Pentagon on the feasibility of the military branch.
The initial plan for a Space Corps was written into the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said during a June 13 hearing that “last year, out of a lot of frustration and a commitment to do better in space, we set up a separate Space Corps.”
Thornberry added, “That is not the way it came out in conference. And we have given the Air Force an opportunity to show a greater commitment in space.”
Among the main concerns is the potential cost of forming the new military branch, but as things have moved forward it now appears that Space Force could make up for its cost through its potential contributions to the U.S. economy.
Morgan Stanley sent a note to clients on June 22, stating that Trump’s Space Force could create a $1 trillion economy.
“Our conversations with various actors (current and retired) in the U.S. government, military, and intelligence communities overwhelmingly indicate that space is an area where we will see significant development,” the note says, according to Business Insider.
It says, “This development could enhance U.S. technological leadership and address vulnerabilities in surveillance, mission deployment, cyber, and AI.”
In addition, Morgan Stanley has identified 20 stocks for the growing space economy, and it is monitoring another 100 private companies.
Combined with Trump’s other directives that include a return to manned missions to the Moon, as well as a manned mission to Mars, the United States will need to develop new technologies for space, which will likely include farming, life support, alternative energy, new materials, and others that could bring a repeat of the “Silicon Revolution” from the 1960s and 1970s.