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Skywalkers, Wookies and FloatyBois: Here are the names Space Force rejected

The service was established Dec. 20 with a force of 16,000 military and civilian personnel, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

U.S. SPACE FORCE

By CHAD GARLAND | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 6, 2021

AstroPraetorians, constellators, freedom-naughts, geosentries, Trekkies, Skywalkers and Wookies were all suggested names for members of the Space Force, according to two PowerPoint slides the service released Friday.

After removing duplicates and alternate spellings, the list emailed to Stars and Stripes included about 380 possible names, from Aces to Zero-gees. Officials in December chose “guardians” as the general term for Space Force members, akin to the Air Force’s airmen.

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Last year officials sought ideas from its ranks for a name to distinguish members of the fledgling service from sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines. They received over 700 responses, Gen. John "Jay" Raymond said in late March.

Some of the goofier ones were anti-gravity gang, astrogators, loonies, FloatyBois, Homo Spaciens and Space Avengers.

Airmen, sailors, cadets, raiders, pathfinders, ensigns, corpsmen, Rangers, scouts, specialists, troops, troopers, warriors and operators were among the listed submissions already widely in use, officially or not, as military ranks, specialties, weapon systems or other designations.

Specialist was announced late last month as the term the Space Force would use for its four most junior ranks, though it’s long been used in Army ranks to distinguish enlisted technicians from noncommissioned officers.

Delta, the name the service adopted for the equivalent of an air wing and the term for the shape used in its “Star Trek”-like logo, was also among the proposals. So was the related “deltan.”

Space professionals, which was used as a place-holder before guardians, was listed among space cadets, space cases, space folks, space Marines and space GIs.

Entries like STARgeant show a clear affinity for wordplay. Other suggestions capture the difficulty of defining members of a service that is bound to Earth but focused on space: ground-based-astronauts, space operator located elsewhere, space operator located on Earth and terranauts.

While many saw the chosen term “guardians” as a reference to the Marvel comic book and movie series “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the name of the series was also among the suggestions, as was that of its main character, Star Lord.

garland.chad@stripes.com
Twitter: @chadgarland

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