Air Force Barbara Barrett, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond and Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, Space Force Senior Enlisted Advisor, present the Space Force flag to President Donald Trump on May 15, 2020, in the Oval Office. Credit: White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force has selected 2,410 airmen to transfer to the new branch starting Sept. 1, officials announced July 16. These airmen were selected from more than 8,500 who applied to transfer to the Space Force.

The airmen selected are all from space operations career fields. They have volunteered to leave the U.S. Air Force and will either commission or enlist, as applicable for officers or enlisted, into the Space Force.

Last month the Space Force said more than 8,500 active-duty airmen from a broad range of career fields applied to join the space branch.

“This is an exciting and historic time for these space operators who will be some of the first members to join the Space Force,” Lt. Gen. David “DT” Thompson, vice commander of the U.S Space Force, said in a statement.

Members selected for transfer will be personally notified later this month with instructions for required administrative tasks they need to complete.

The Space Force said some members will transfer around Sept. 1, others may have to wait for administrative processes to be completed, such as a pending promotion board.

Patricia Mulcahy, deputy chief of space operations for personnel and logistics, said there has been “substantial planning behind the scenes between the Space Force and Air Force to get us to this day.”

From the 8,500 applicants, more will be selected from career fields like intelligence, cyberspace operations, developmental engineering, acquisition, geospatial intelligence, signals intelligence and others.

These candidates will be evaluated in a “transfer board,” said the Space Force. Transfer boards for officers are scheduled for the end of July, and for enlisted airmen later in the fall. The results will be announced approximately 30 days after each board is completed. Transfers for personnel selected from these boards are expected to begin in February 2021.

Service members from the Army and Navy could be eligible to transfer to the Space Force but not yet. “Although legal provisions exist for members of other services to transfer to the Space Force, the current focus is on Air Force members,” the service said. “The Space Force will release further details for a limited inter-service transfer program for other sister services for fiscal year 2021.”

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...