WASHINGTON — Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman on April 3 was sworn in as the top enlisted leader of the U.S. Space Force.

In a small enlistment ceremony at the Pentagon, Towberman became the second official member of the U.S. Space Force. Until now, the Space Force only has had one official member, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond. The approximately 16,000 military personnel in the Space Force are members of the U.S. Air Force who are detailed to the space service.

Raymond announced in February that Towberman, the senior enlisted leader of U.S. Space Command, would also assume that role for the U.S. Space Force. His swearing-in ceremony was put on hold after DoD moved to restrict travel and group events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Towberman on Friday was enlisted into the Space Force at the Pentagon with just a few senior leaders present in order to abide by social distancing guidelines. A larger ceremony will be conducted at a later date.

Towberman, who joined the U.S. Air Force in 1990, became the second official member of the Space Force.

“Today, there’s one person in the United States Space Force, and that’s me,” Raymond told reporters March 27. “We’ve identified the second airman that will be, and that’s Chief Master Sergeant Towberman.”

Towberman will advise the Space Force’s enlisted corps and will serve as an adviser to Raymond and to Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett on issues like the welfare, readiness and morale of the force.

Thousands of airmen are expected to leave the Air Force and transfer into the Space Force in the coming months and years, once administrative processes and personnel policies are sorted out.

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...