During the month of May, more than 8,500 active duty Airmen within 13 eligible officer and enlisted career fields volunteered to build the ranks of the newly-created U.S. Space Force.
“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, U.S. Space Force. “It is a critical time for space, and those Airmen will build the Space Force necessary to compete, deter, and win as required to meet the needs of the National Defense Strategy.”
While approximately 16,000 military and civilians from the former U.S. Air Force Space Command are now assigned to the newest service, this transfer process will officially commission or enlist military members into the Space Force.
Volunteers represent officers and enlisted members in the organic space Air Force Specialty Codes of space operations (13S) and space systems operations (1C6), and officers and enlisted members in several career fields common to both the Air Force and Space Force, including intelligence (14N), cyberspace operations (17X), developmental engineer (62E), acquisition manager (63A), operations intelligence (1N0), geospatial intelligence (1N1), signals intelligence (1N2), fusion analyst (1N4), targeting analyst (1N8), cyberspace support (3D0), and client systems (3D1).
The Space Force is currently reviewing transfer applications and analyzing packages against the specific AFSCs and rank requirements to determine where transfer boards are needed. In total, approximately 6,000 members will be selected for transfer.
All volunteers will receive a notification in July explaining the next steps in the process.
For members in the organic space career fields, transfers to the Space Force will begin Sept. 1. For volunteers in common career fields, transfer boards will be scheduled by AFSC as needed between July and November, and the results will be announced about 30 days after each board is completed. Since the boarding and selection process will take additional time, transfers for personnel with common AFSCs are expected to begin Feb. 1, 2021.
“We are excited to continue to move forward and build the ranks of the Space Force with these great volunteers,” said Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, senior enlisted advisor, U.S. Space Force. “Our priority over the next several months is to ensure we optimize the talent of both services and offer a transition that is seamless and befitting each individual and their loved one’s commitment to our Space Force.”
Because active-duty space operations missions and functions will completely transfer to the Space Force, Airmen in organic space career fields who declined to transfer into the Space Force will receive assistance in examining other options to include applying for retraining into another AFSC, applying to transition into the reserve components, or applying for separation or retirement, if eligible. These personnel should expect notification on these processes in the month of July. In the meantime, those service members will remain in the Air Force and may be assigned duties in the Space Force. At the end of the transition period, expected to be sometime in 2022, organic space AFSCs will be removed from Air Force inventory, and assignments in those mission areas will no longer be an option for Air Force members.
Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel remain critical to space mission execution. Today, Air Guard and Air Force Reserve units executing space missions are currently aligned to the Space Force, and will continue supporting Space Force missions in this status while the future of the reserve component for the Space Force is determined. The status of Department of the Air Force civilians, whether assigned to Air Force or Space Force organizations, is unchanged.
For members of the other military services, the time frame for Army and Navy space requirements to move to the Space Force is in fiscal years 2022-23. Although legal provisions exist for members of other services to transfer to the Space Force, the current focus is on Air Force members. The Space Force will release further details for a limited inter-service transfer program for other sister services for fiscal year 2021.