Space Force guardians march June 23, 2022, during basic training graduation at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Space Force guardians march June 23, 2022, during basic training graduation at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. (Rose L. Thayer/Stars and Stripes )

WASHINGTON — The Space Force on Tuesday unveiled an official song for its guardians, adopting “Semper Supra” as the music of the military’s newest branch.

The song name is Latin for the Space Force’s motto, “Always Above,” and was created to capture the “spirit de corps” of the service's troops and bring them a sense of pride, according to the Space Force.

“We wanted a song that spoke to our guardians, that brought to life our motto,” Gen. John "Jay" Raymond, chief of space operations, said in a video announcing the song.

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard all have official songs to represent the values, traditions and culture of each individual branch.

Work on a song for the Space Force began when the service was formed in 2019. James Teachenor, a former member of the Air Force band at the Air Force Academy, spearheaded the effort and wrote the lyrics and melody.

“It was quite a long work in progress for a while because I wanted to make sure that everything that was in the song would adequately represent all the capabilities that our Space Force is involved with,” Teachenor said in the video.

The Space Force is dedicated to handling threats in space and oversees U.S. military satellites and radars.

Once Teachenor created the foundation for “Semper Supra,” the chief musician for the Coast Guard, Sean Nelson, stepped in to provide harmony and orchestration. Nelson plays trombone in the Coast Guard band and is a staff arranger.

“At first, it started with singing and the piano,” Nelson said. “I became familiar with the other branches’ songs, but I wanted this one to have its own modern spin to reflect what the Space Force is — modern, new and very advanced.”

Nelson added more than 30 instrument parts to the song, which the Coast Guard band then recorded. The Space Force spent months developing and revising the music with the band before picking the final version of “Semper Supra.”

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to establish a Space Force song that will be part of our culture and heritage for years to come,” Raymond said. "Our traditions are part of the fabric that weave us all together as we execute our missions side-by-side. I will be proud to sing 'Semper Supra' alongside my fellow guardians."

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Svetlana Shkolnikova covers Congress for Stars and Stripes. She previously worked with the House Foreign Affairs Committee as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and spent four years as a general assignment reporter for The Record newspaper in New Jersey and the USA Today Network. A native of Belarus, she has also reported from Moscow, Russia.

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