I can see how this may backfire spectacularly . . .

The new US Space Force is looking for a descriptive name for its members.

The U.S. Space Force is looking for feedback from U.S. military space professionals on what Space Force members should be called – similar to how the Air Force refers to its members as ‘Airmen’ or the Army refers to its members as ‘Soldiers’.

Given the significance a name has to the identity and culture of an organization, the Space Force is taking a deliberate approach to ensure Space Force member titles and ranks appropriately convey the nature of the newest Armed Forces branch and the domain in which it operates.

Toward that end, Space Force officials are soliciting ideas related to Space Force ranks, names for operational units and what Space Force members should be called collectively.  They are especially interested in soliciting ideas from those currently assigned to the U.S. Space Force or those who expect to be members of the Space Force in the future.

Air Force CAC card holders with access to Air Force Portal should submit their ideas online by Feb. 24 … Space Force officials will also be reaching out to the Army, Navy and Marine Corps space communities to enable military space professionals in other services the opportunity to submit ideas.

There’s more at the link.

This sounds great in theory . . . but in practice, I’d say it’s likely to be fraught with difficulties.  I mean – asking the Marines what they think the Space Force should be called?  Right now, somewhere up there, Chesty Puller is rolling in the aisles with laughter at the thought of the suggestions his boys are about to submit.  “As(s)teroids” is about the tamest of the suggestions I can think of, and any self-respecting Marine will be able to top that in a heartbeat!

I’m sure my readers can come up with some creative names and ranks to offer the Space Force.  Please leave your suggestions in Comments – and please remember that this is a family-friendly blog, so don’t get too rude!



  1. The obvious low hanging fruit, and something I don't want, is "Space Cadets". For the rank and file, the current listing from Lt. to Admiral should work well. But the enlisted rankings get a bit more problematic. Yes, the various Sgt. rankings should suffice for the higher enlisted, however, Airman (for the Air Force) Sailor (for the water born forces) and Soldier (for the Army) obviously won't work for the lower enlisted, nor the Space members in general. In some ways it's too bad that it has started off as the "Space Force". The "Space Corps" would have opened the field of available names somewhat, however, "Corpsman" sounds too much like the hospital wing of any of the services. Tis a conundrum.
    Even though I've been accused of having a very active imagination, I can't think of a thing that would bring any sort of gravitas to the needed moniker. And even that is kind of funny – "Gravitas" to a space program :-). Space, as an entity, is just too ripe with already well developed vacuous connotations to easily be brought into the fold of seriously meaningful language. I sure hope that some bright individual comes up with something though because space is going to be, in fact, already is, the next and most historically important front in military conflicts. Throughout history, those who have the high ground have the advantage, and there's not higher ground that the ground we put into space.
    "Spacemen" won't pass the P.C. test in today's snowflake feminist domination. "Spaceperson" is just too weird and sounds like everything else that has "person" in place of "man" – like a word put in place in order to placate the stupid among us. The name "Spacers" makes them sound like a place holder for something empty. Other words for outer space is "cosmos", "universe", and "void", however none of those lend themselves to ready use. "Cosmonauts" connotes the Russian astronauts, and it would be awkward and highly inaccurate to call all the ranks "astronauts". Perhaps "Space Defenders" is coming close to appropriate. I can imaging "Space Defender Jones, report to H.Q immediately". "Space Defender Smith, you have been promoted from Space Defender of the Space Force to Sgt. of the Space Force". So, there it is. "Space Defenders" is my submission. Please pass it along. WR

  2. I would expect they'd save "Assteroid" for use as a designation of rank. To be preceded, of course, by "Half Asssteroid."

    "Vaccers," now, has a certain ring to it.


  3. As a serious reply, I like The Neon Madman's suggestion of Trooper for the lower echelon enlisted; maybe Space Trooper Basic, Space Trooper First, Space Trooper Senior. A little too 1950's SciFi-ish but okay.

    For the NCO's, I think the Sargent ranks from the Air Force would work. The Army and the Navy have such a conglomeration of names at the same pay grade that it is confusing.

    Officer ranks? Well, being retired Air Force, I like the Air Force/Army rankings. However, almost all futurist fiction (SciFi again) likes to use Naval ranks. If you use a more AF/Army enlisted ranking, I think they should go with the same for Officers.

    I don't know if we will get Space Marine type forces early on. When they do, they just need to borrow from the Naval Marines.

  4. They should be called spacers, in the finest Golden Age SF tradition. 🙂

    Since it's Space Force, the officer ranks should correspond with solar types.
    M = 01, K = 02, G = 03, F = 04, A = 05, B = 06, O = 07 and higher. We could also use the representative star of that class. Proxima, Epsilon, Sol, Procyon, Sirius, Algol, Aurigae will do.
    For enlisted ranks, planets in order from smallest to largest. Pluto, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Neptune, Ranus, Saturn, Jupiter.

  5. Espatier for the basic rank, then Espatier First Class, followed by traditional Army/Marine ranks.

    What all the smartarses miss is that 99% of the force will always be ground-based, doing things like run the GPS ground stations and so forth. As such, ground-service ranks are much more important.

  6. The odds of any enlisted rating actually getting any further off the ground than a commercial airliner being effectively zero, assigning fancy names is a waste of time. E-1 through E-3 will work, and sergeant for anything above that. Officer ranks same as AF or Navy.

  7. I'm with Tweell and think the best name would be Spacer; it reflects their branch and should meet the current crop of gender and minority requirements, but I also agree with the others that none of them will actually be anywhere near space so perhaps the generic Trooper is better at this point…

  8. You have to call them Spacemen, because without that, you'll never get to having a Spaceman Spiff. And if you're not going to do that, there's no point in doing it at all.

    The pilots will, of course be Rocket Men.
    Those assigned to sub-planetary satellites will be Luna Ticks.
    People on other planets will hang out in Mars bars.
    Their parties will be called saturnalias.
    The bands there will play Nep tunes.
    And sorry, but assteroids will not be a service designation, they will be what the chairborne rangers in that force get from sitting in swivel chairs their entire careers.

    And Heinlein got it right: no one will be called Starship troopers; they will be called the Mobile Infantry, but only if you give them powered flying armor, and tactical nuclear weapons down to the individual soldier level.

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