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The Pentagon Refuses To Discuss How It Plans To Screw Up The New Space Force Uniforms
Space may be the final frontier, but it also provides the Pentagon a new opportunity to create a really crappy uniform.
While the Defense Department launched a space organization and management review on March 1, President Donald Trump on March 13 unexpectedly suggested that the U.S. military create a “space force” to protect U.S. interests in the cosmos.
“Space is a warfighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,” Trump said in a speech at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. “We may even have a space force … because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space. I said: ‘Maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the space force.’ And I was not really serious. And then I said: ‘What a great idea! Maybe we’ll have to do that.’”
Interested in attaining the “space shuttle door gunner” MOS? Or which branches the space troopers will come from? Well, the Pentagon can’t really say until that space review wraps up in August, a defense official told Task & Purpose.
And of course, what will these space troopers wear — Battle rattle like Stormtroopers? Tight fitting turtlenecks like Star Trek? Tank tops like Space Marines?
“It’s important that we have a defendable space,” Pentagon spokesman Army. Col. Rob Manning said during Monday’s weekly question-and-answer session with reporters. “Our deputy secretary of defense is actually taking a look at this. We’ll provide a recommendation. But as far as the uniform, the composition, all that …we’re taking a look at it.”
Lest you think this is a trivial issue, remember how the Special Forces community lost its mind in October when pictures emerged online showing what appeared to be a green beret for soldiers in the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade. Ultimately, soldiers in the unit received brown berets and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made clear that the SFAB “is not and will not be Special Forces.”
Beyond reputational concerns, past attempts by military branches to introduce new uniforms, the product invariably looks closer to something The Evil Intergalactic Empire would field than Jedi Knight attire. Consider this 2006 picture of two airmen wearing the proposed Billy Mitchell heritage coat became an internet sensation after someone inserted Darth Vader into the photo.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., proposed creating a space force last year, only to run into opposition from both the Pentagon and White House. Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, recently said the question of what uniform space troops should wear is a red herring.
“That’s the silliest thing in the world,” Rogers said during a Feb. 28 panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington. “It’s the Air Force. Air Force got blue uniforms? Make the space corps black. Everything else be the same, except instead of having wings you’ll have an orbit or something. I don’t care. Done. It’s over.”
Whatever the Pentagon decides on uniforms, Manning said the Defense Department recognizes “the president’s enthusiasm for this vital domain. No word yet on whether the Defense Department is considering whether or not to build a “Death Star,” which it estimated in 2011 would cost $15.6 septillion and 94 cents – or roughly as much as three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.