The United States Space Force has launched a new website to help connect with those interested in possible careers in space operations, cyber, intelligence, acquisitions and engineering. Visitors to SpaceForce.com can also find basic information about the sixth and newest branch of the United States military, which was officially activated two years ago this month, and even learn how to enlist or become an officer.
Currently, most of the Space Force’s current Guardians – the name of the service’s uniformed personnel – joined via service-to-service transfers. The branch’s future requires inspiring and attracting talent from across the country through national advertising, face-to-face recruiting and digital engagement. Similar to AirForce.com, SpaceForce.com will feature an interactive user experience with information and functionality that will be useful to aspiring Guardians.
“SpaceForce.com is engineered with future Guardians in mind,” said Capt. Timothy Applegate, Guardian and chief of the Space Force marketing branch for AFRS. “While the site’s appearance will evolve with additional imagery and video, this debut version includes functions that will inform visitors about the Space Force mission, careers, benefits, the process to join, and options to connect with a recruiter.”
Small But Special
In addition to being the newest branch of the military, the United States Space Force is also the smallest, and is currently made up of fewer than 6,500 personnel, which operate some 77 spacecraft. Its ranks will never reach those of the U.S. Army or Navy, but it is still looking to expand in size.
According to AFRS, the service recruited about 400 enlisted Guardians and about three dozen officers in the first year of recruiting through 2021. AFRS’s current goal for recruiting Guardians in fiscal 2022 (FY22) is 521 enlisted and about 70 officers. All recruiters in the Department of the Air Force also recruit Guardians, and each enlisted accessions squadron has a dedicated Space Force recruiter for a total of 24 in AFRS.
The service is also utilizing the AFRS’s social media platforms including LinkedIn, the Twitter @usaf_recruiting handle, Facebook’s @USAirForceRecruiting, and YouTube. It will also continue to feature links and other Space Force-centric information resources.
“The bond between Recruiting Service and the Space Force is strong and Air Force recruiters and marketing professionals are proud to help advance our nation’s space mission,” Applegate added
In addition to the launch of a new dedicated website, Space Force also marked its second anniversary with its expanded “STEMtoSpace” outreach campaign that began as a small team project designed to link Space Force volunteers with local-area students to talk about the importance of STEM education.
The initiative, which began on the service’s first anniversary, has already reached more than 17,000 students across all 50 states.
“STEM-focused education is not only critical to the success of the Space Force, but it also holds the key to our future security and prosperity as a nation,” said Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond. “This outreach campaign has been nothing short of inspiring, as our volunteers and students around the globe have connected to build upon their shared passion for space.”
Even as the majority of the classroom visits were virtual this year, some Guardians, including the Chief of Space Operations and NASA astronaut and Space Force Col. Nick Hague, were fortunate to make a few in person visits to – including one to Gen. Raymond’s high school alma mater, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. Raymond and Hague were able to speak to more than 200 students in person earlier this month.
“Being able to share my passion for space and my experiences on orbit with students around the world has been incredible,” explained Hague. “STEM is critical to everything we do at NASA, and we need today’s youth engaged in science, technology, engineering and math in order to lead the future of space research and exploration.”
To date, more than 300 Space Force volunteers participated in STEMtoSpace engagements this December, potentially reaching close to 184,000 students across all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, South Korea, Japan, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
“Talking to today’s youth about the importance of the Space Force and STEM in general will help grow awareness for the branch organically and teach kids the importance of STEM knowledge and activities, and how STEM actually impacts everyday life beyond the classroom,” said Specialist 4 Nathan Hall, 747 Communications Squadron network analyst at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. “Overall, it was a great event, and the kids I talked to had excellent, in-depth questions; I feel they took a lot away from the event, as did I.”
Two Years And Going Strong
The U.S. Space Force was established Dec. 20, 2019, under the Department of the Air Force, while the Air Force Recruiting Service is the Space Force’s arm for recruiting and advertising to attract the next generation of military space professionals.
“We are proud to be part of the Space Force mission and ensure the story of what this forward-looking service does is told and that their ranks are filled with the highest-caliber Guardians,” said Barry Dickey, AFRS director of strategic marketing.