I read a throw-away article tonight about our friends in in our nascent Space Force and there were several things that leapt out and caught my attention in fairly short order. I realize that the start of this may sound biased or prejudiced and it isn't meant to be taken that way. I have a few questions and a few comments that I don't think would go awry asked in any company including senior personnel from Space Force.
The first thing that struck me was their uniforms. Why is the Space Force wearing ground combat camouflage uniforms in a purely office environment? The WAR is over people. It's time to dress up again like a real military force and not a banana republic of stuffed cammo uniforms and seriously when/if you do go back to wearing the real uniform you'd do well to confine the wearing of ribbons and medals to those earned in the Space Force because frankly, you don't have a lot of accomplishments/any accomplishments that merit bragging.
|Lieutenant General Deputy Chief of Operations and others|
They appear to have an infinite number of general officers for a force that consists of under 9,000 uniformed personnel and has no space craft, no launchers, no interceptors, no new labs and really a very questionable job that may or may not need doing via this insertion. In comparison, an Army 2 star commands a full division and a 3 star general commands Army Forces Central Command as his Navy peer, also a 3 star, commands Naval Forces Central Command and back in the day was dual hatted as Commander, Fifth Fleet and could have up to 3 carrier battle groups under his flag. Too many senior officers is a killing burden for any command at every single level of command.
Space Force is far from unique in military history and their heritage organization knows it very well and so does the Army and the Navy. The Army grew this incredible organization from nothing at all in 1910 to the vast Army Air Forces that split off from the Army after World War II and were in just about every way shape and form the complete reboot of the Army itself and their numbers and materials under their control justified a 4 star command structure similar to that of the Army and Navy. All services have ballooned their staffs and flag officer billets beyond any sane number.
But, back to the role of organizing a new force structure. The Navy developed its own version of a completely separate Navy within the Navy that did/does Navy things but under a very different operational and training environment. Again, they had the diesel submarine heritage but going nuclear marked a gigantic change in how the Navy was organized and Nuclear Power was essentially split off from the Navy standard way of doing things right from the beginning and it still is to this day. One might argue that they and the Marines also wrangled with organizing, manning, equipping, training and supplying their own operational air forces because they are very different from the Air Force.
I watched a 2 star and his brand new staff of senior captains detailed to the wasteland in order to create the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command leap into a swirl of action to gut and redefine portions of the Navy that had/have been in existence since World War II. They were clever enough and well enough supplied with senior officers from the Construction Forces and the Explosive Ordnance community that they left well enough alone but they threw themselves into completely remaking the various cats and dogs that fell into the shadows after the Vietnam War and didn't have any senior line officers to reign in the fantastic and bizarre notions of a thoroughly overmanned, unnecessary staff element 3000-5000 miles from where they did business. It was a long painful disaster that bottomed out about 7 years ago.
Whenever a new paradigm comes along and a new challenge is presented then the staff leaps into action and pursues the almighty $ with wild abandon but they are somewhat constrained in the real world by people above the level of uniformed officers who want to see the Required Operational Capabilities and the Projected Operating Environment. I'd kind of like to see what they came up with for Space Force. Is it meant to be anything more than the contracting coordinator for all the armed services various space communications and spy satellites and if it is to be more, how much more? Where do they grow the expertise over time and gain the development of subordinates to do anything more than contracting and designing uniforms for themselves?
You get a young surface warfare officer and he used to be put to work as a division officer on a ship that went to sea or if he was very unlucky, spent a year or 5 in the shipyards undergoing maintenance but the jobs of a division officer and a watch officer prepared him to be an effective department head, executive officer and with some learning, a ship's commanding officer and maybe a squadron commander and then perhaps even an Admiral. It was much the same for all the parts of the Navy and is the same for the Army and Marine Corps. I'm not sure about the Air Force.
One of the things that tells me that the poor Space Force is already buggered is the lack of input on where it will actually place its terrestrial roots and start to dominate space. It has been 3 years and they can't make the decision and move out on something as simple as declaring their Headquarters will be in Huntsville, Alabama alongside Marshall Space Flight Center and the Ballistic Defense Missile Command or in Tampa with the other big boys like Central Command and Special Operations Command or if they will stay holed up in a pointless mountain in Colorado or a hole in the ground on the Great Plains.
Let's be honest, that was a decision that any reasonable Commander should have made within a week of appointment. Letting it drift into play means that Congress got involved and started logrolling like crazy and it all could have been avoided by making a prompt decision. Even if such a decision could be found wrong later in time, it doesn't really matter because I'm having trouble imagining how you could make a bad decision on this issue because it really doesn't matter. The power center will always be DC and everyone knows it.
Now is the time to keep a good watch out and see what they're up to beyond redesigning uniforms.