Eight 6th ARW Airmen become Space Force Guardians

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Scott Warner
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Eight Airmen from the U.S. Air Force’s 6th Air Refueling Wing officially transferred to the U.S. Space Force on Feb. 1, 2021.

Established in 2019, the Space Force is a military service that organizes, trains and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.

This transition marks the first day Airmen assigned to the wing transferred from the Air Force to the Space Force to become guardians, changing their duty focus from the air domain to the one always above it, the space domain.

“This is a historic moment for our nation, but more importantly, these young men and women who’ve been selected to transfer into the newest branch of the military – the U.S. Space Force,” said Lt. Col. Justin Ellsworth, 6th Communications Squadron commander. “Today is an exciting day for these new Guardians as they raise their right hand once again to defend our great nation and we’re incredibly proud of each of them.”

To transfer from one military service to another, a military member separates from their current branch of service and commissions or enlists into their new service branch in their current pay grade. 

On the official date of transfer, enlisted members are administered the oath of enlistment while officers are administered the oath of office. Both sign official Space Force service contracts and incur a minimum two-year active-duty service commitment when transferring.

“With our strategic pivot to focus on our peer adversaries and the recognition that space is now a war-fighting domain, these Guardians will have their work cut out for them,” explained Ellsworth.

Ellsworth is echoing words by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., who spoke about peer adversaries such as China and Russia in his “Accelerate Change, or Lose” directive.

This directive is paramount and a key priority that explains why accelerating change is necessary to be prepared for conflict in the space and cyberspace domains.

Space Force responsibilities include developing guardians, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power and organizing space forces to present to the Combatant Commands.

The first Airman from 6th ARW to take the oath of enlistment in the Space Force was Staff Sgt. Dylan Johnson, whose rank title will change today to sergeant.

“I am excited to be shaping the culture of a new military service,” said Sgt. Dylan Johnson, a 6th CS mission defense analyst. “But at the same time, it’s strange because the Air Force has been my life for the past four and half years.”

History is currently being made and while it feels like a big step for some, to others, it can feel more like heritage.

“My grandfather joined the Air Force in 1949 as a fighter pilot two years after its inception,” said Johnson. “Now I’m joining the Space Force two years after its inception and I am proud to have followed in his footsteps while making some of my own.”

The Space Force is still currently reviewing transfer applications to determine where transfer boards are needed to control the space domain.

These ceremonies are one of the first steps needed to fill its ranks, but it also serves as a giant leap in ensuring the Space Force is ready for “Accelerating Change, or Lose” as well as to reflect its motto: Semper supra or “Always Above.”