Friday, June 16, 2023


 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.


Anonymous said...

I agree on several points, especially the Boss Bloat, organizational insanity as they search for a reason to exist, and especially the Power Tools that are our Political Royalty eyeing the new service like a vulture circles road kill in the hopes of feathering their own fiefdom.
One indication that I read just this week that really illustrates the true character and quality of the Rot that has sunk in at the Space Cadet Command level is right here:
"Space Force general decries 'anti-LGBTQ+' laws at Pentagon Pride event, claims they affect hiring decisions"

Anonymous said...

I will say that when Space Cadets was formed I was hopefully optimistic as thought that it was a viable mission. I do like your idea of a service that focuses on all service space interaction and clearing house with a very clear line of responsibility and common sense.
I should have known better how this was going to shake out with our current Corrupt and Woke Military Leadership.
May God have Mercy on ALL of our military men and women as War will NOT be kind to them.
I Pray for our Nation as well, our debt for our Hubris will be Painful.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you why they are in camouflaged, I live near Patrick SFB, and go there occasionally. Camouflage cover up the rolls of weight around the middle, if you could see some in their dress uniforms it is unreal, what the need is a weight program

Don McCollor said...

My thought was that the cammies were cheap, obtained from existing clothing stockpiles. The effect is ridiculous. White or light blue loose jumpsuits would give at least a sense of dignity, distinction, and purpose. If they don't fly in space, at least they would look the part. They would also even more effectively cover the lard (like Churchill's WW2 Siren Suit).

Dan said...

Not sure why Trump created the Space Force but it's become clear that it's developed into nothing but a waste of time, effort and most of all MONEY. A place where incompetence doesn't just exist but is nurtured and rewarded. It's almost certainly a venue used to launder taxpayer dollars into the pockets of the connected and powerful. It should be shuttered immediately and it's staff either transferred to useful jobs, or I suspect cashiered out completely

Anonymous said...

Just roll it back into the Air Force where it belongs. There’s no compelling reason to have a separate service. Any issues could just as easily be addressed at the major command level without the overhead costs.

HMS Defiant said...

Given all the new opportunities for graft it is unlikely that it will be folded back into the Air Force. TPTB keep thinking there is some sort of economy by forcing the users to accept a single common system that will cover the full spectrum of missions required by the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, NRO, CIA, DIA, etc and that of course is the crux of the problem. Every single time someone comes up with a simple easy to execute list of ROC the idiots decide it must be fully joint, interoperable and meet detailed requirements viz weight, operating life and greeness at this point. A $50,000,000 satellite needed for the mission turns into a $500,000,000 satellite that is 7 years late and finds itself in an unsuitable orbit.

Anonymous said...

Why do they wear camo? Are there trees in space?

Anonymous said...

Space Force will be just like the rest of the military top brass. Ivy League educated. With the exception of the new Chairman of Joint Chief. Texas educated. Just read their bio. We need Generals like Puller, Patton, Admirals like Nimitz, Halsey, Chappy James,

HMS Defiant said...

Smart guy but the truly scary ones are the ones that furiously cast around for some way to float to the very top and seek out and find pointless make-do work for everyone and have 15 meetings a day.

HMS Defiant said...

As I've written here, the 3 and 4 stars self-select and that got buggered by the Clintons during their war in Yugoslavia and once that pyramid was topped by petty bureaucrats who toed the democrat line and had their lips firmly wrapped around the shaft it is impossible to fix without a major war which is what fixed it when it went bad after WWI.
The Koreans have an interesting way of selecting the service heads. The politician picks the guy he likes and makes him Chief of Staff or Chief of Naval Operations and EVERYONE senior to them has about a week to retire from active duty. Despite spending years there at the 06/07/08 levels I have absolutely no idea how that works for them. OTOH, they're a very homogeneous society and are likely to remain that way for another century or two.