Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond speak May 6, 2020, in a webinar hosted by the Space Foundation. Credit: Space Foundation

WASHINGTON — Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond kicked off an online event May 6 rolling out a new Space Force recruitment video that included footage of the X-37B spaceplane, satellite control rooms and service members in spacesuits.

“Maybe your purpose on this planet isn’t on this planet,” said the voice-over in the video.

After showing the video at the online event hosted by the Space Foundation, Barrett said: “Sign me up. That video, certainly made an impression on me.”

U.S. military service members — except the few who get selected by NASA for its astronaut program — do not travel to space and the U.S. Space Force will operate firmly on land. Barrett said the ad aimed to “inspire Americans to find their purpose in the nation’s newest service, the United States Space Force.”

She noted that the X-37B being included in the ad was not a coincidence. Barrett said it’s an example of DoD efforts to be more open about its space capabilities. “You may appreciate that the Department of the Air Force is declassifying some information related to space. For instance, in the video you just played may have caught a quick glimpse of the space vehicle previously cloaked in secrecy, the X-37B.”

The Air Force on May 6 also announced the upcoming launch of the reusable spaceplane’s sixth mission.

The Space Force has not yet started openly recruiting new members. For now it is asking selected airmen in space jobs to voluntarily transfer to the new branch. Raymond said members of other services will be welcome as well. “Today other service members can volunteer to join in with the support of their service can apply that transfer over, and in the future I think they’ll be greater opportunities to expand this portfolio to the other services,” he said.

Barrett said there also will be opportunities for others to work in Space Force billets without transferring.

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...