The U.S. Space Force will refer to its members as “guardians,” officials announced Friday, the latest development for a military branch founded last year.
Vice President Mike Pence introduced the “guardian” moniker at a one-year anniversary event for the Space Force, which has previously referred to its members with the comparatively staid and interim-seeming term “space professionals.”
The Space Force said in a press release it received hundreds of suggestions before finally settling on “guardians,” casting the name as a reference to the branch’s precursor — Air Force Space Command — which used the motto “Guardians of the High Frontier.”
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come,” Pence said Friday.
The Space Force said the term “guardian” has a “long history in space operations,” but it also bears an undeniable resemblance to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, a possibly unintentional coincidence some observers were quick to point out.
This isn’t the first time the Space Force’s rollout has drawn comparisons with extraterrestrially-based pop culture. The branch’s logo, introduced earlier this year, looks uncannily similar to the insignia of Starfleet, the military branch from Star Trek.
President Donald Trump floated the idea of establishing the Space Force, a sixth military branch focused on outer space, two years ago. The idea initially received mixed reviews: Some critics saw it as a largely redundant organ whose responsibilities are already handled by the Air Force, while others argued a service branch dedicated to protecting U.S. satellites and other commercial and military interests in space could be useful.
‘Guardians’ of the Galaxy: Pence Announces Name of Space Force Members (Military.com)