Space Force draws 8,500 volunteers from Air Force ranks

A U.S. Space Force recruiting ad. The window for airmen to apply to join the newly established Space Force ended May 31. More than 8,500 active-duty airmen applied, the service said Tuesday.


By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 9, 2020

More than 8,500 active-duty airmen are interested in moving over to the U.S. Space Force, the service said Tuesday.

May was the first month applications to transfer into the military’s newest branch were accepted from current service members. The thousands of applications come from a mix of officers and enlisted airmen from within 13 career fields.

“I am incredibly proud of the men and women who made the bold decision to volunteer to join the U.S. Space Force and defend the ultimate high ground,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations, in a statement.

Calling it “a critical time for space,” Raymond said airmen “will build the Space Force necessary to compete, deter, and win as required to meet the needs of the National Defense Strategy.”

Of those who volunteered, about 6,000 will be selected for transfer, the service said in a statement.

Applications are being reviewed and volunteers will receive notification in July explaining the next steps in the process, service officials said.

Airmen already in space-related jobs will transfer first, starting in September. More general career fields will start transferring in February.

About 16,000 military and civilians from the former U.S. Air Force Space Command are now assigned to Space Force. The upcoming process will officially commission or enlist military members into the force.

Airmen in space career fields who decline to transfer into the Space Force will receive assistance in examining other options, to include applying for retraining into nonspace jobs in the Air Force, going to the reserve components or applying for separation or retirement, if eligible.

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