Steve Carell's 'Space Force' parody actually got military awards right

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Who wouldn't look happy with chest candy like that?

Who wouldn't look happy with chest candy like that?

Space Force, Netflix’s upcoming workplace satire about the country’s newest military branch starring Steve Carell, may be the first show we know of that nailed one of the trickiest parts of the military uniform — the ribbon rack.

To be fair, even four-star generals sometimes get their awards wrong, so it’s that much more impressive that a TV show — a parody, no less — took the time to get it right.

“Those are all legit Air Force ribbons in the proper order,” wrote one Reddit user in response to promo shots released on Wednesday of Carell wearing an Air Force-inspired Space Force uniform.

Not only are the ribbons legit, they’re downright impressive. Among the many pieces of chest candy on the uniform of Carell’s character, Gen. Mark R. Naird, are the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal. 

Naird seems to have served all over the place too, as he has campaign medals from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a Kuwaiti Liberation Medal — so he goes back to Desert Storm, and seems to have had a pretty distinguished career.

Space Force

The rack in even greater detail.

We have a complete list of Naird’s ribbons below, but first check out what other people on Twitter and Reddit had to say about them.

“That’s a spicy rack,” wrote another Reddit user.

“Pretty good attention to detail on the ribbon rack,” said another. “Noticed the [Combat Action Medal] tucked in there near the lapel. I wonder if they found a senior AF service member’s rack and copied it.”

Even a member of Congress weighed in on the ribbon rack. Marine Corps vet Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeted that it was “pretty good.”

Not only are the awards right, but the in-the-know “details are right too,” tweeted Nick, a purported Army officer. “He has the correct number of devices on his Air Force Longevity Service Award, signifying 32+ years of service. His Afg. and Iraq Campaign Medals have required campaign stars (often missed by real service members).”

This isn’t to say that the awards are completely flawless. Nick pointed out that Naird didn’t have an Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon, which might be unlikely for a four-star general with service in the Cold War, Desert Storm and Global War on Terror era.

One thing about the uniform does stand out: The black shirt and tie Carell is wearing. Though Air Force regulations call for wearing a light blue shirt and a herringbone patterned necktie, Reddit users didn’t seem to mind the Space Force twist.

“The dark blue/black shirt makes it look better,” wrote one user, named Space Shuttle Crew Chief.

“Is it me or does the black shirt/tie actually make the uniform better?” asked one user.

“It definitely does,” answered another.

So there you have it, Space Force isn’t even out yet and it’s already dressed to impress. We can’t wait to see the first episode when it hits Netflix on May 29.

Here’s the award breakdown, as promised:

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Distinguished Flying Cross

Bronze Star Medal

Purple Heart

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Combat Action Medal

Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

Combat Readiness Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air and Space Campaign Medal

Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Short Tour

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

Air Force Longevity Service Award

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon

Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait