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Space Operations Badge (U.S. Air Force)
Space Badge (U.S. Army)
Basic Space Badge.jpg
Awarded by Department of the Air Force and Department of the Army
Type U.S. military skill badge
Awarded for Military space operations proficiency
Status Currently awarded
First awarded November 2005[1]
Last awarded On going[2][3]
Next (higher) U.S. Army= Aviator badges[2]
Equivalent U.S. Air Force= Aeronautical rating badges[3]
Next (lower) U.S. Army= Astronaut Badge[2]
U.S. Air Force= Occupational badges[3]

The United States Air Force's Space Operations Badge and the United States Army's Space Badge is a jointly held skill badge —created by the U.S. Air Force— for those Airman and Soldiers that meet specific training, experience, and assignment requirements in space warning, satellite command and control, missile operations, space surveillance, and/or space lift.

History[edit | edit source]

Former U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Badge

The Air Force Space and Missile Badge (AFSMB) was a military badge of the United States Air Force which was awarded to those personnel who completed training in space warning, satellite command and control, missile operations, space surveillance, and/or space lift. It initially replaced the Missile Badge when the space and missile operations fields were merged. However, the Missile Badge was reinstated in 2009.[3][4]

The first Air Force badge awarded to other military services was the Air Force Space and Missile Badge which was awarded to U.S. Army officers who graduated from the functional area (FA) 40A (Army Space Operations Officer) course.[5][6][7][8]

The Air Force Space and Missile Badge was presented in three grades being that of basic, senior, and command. The basic badge was awarded for completion of initial space training while the senior and master badges were awarded based on years of service in Air Force Space assignments; for officer the steps occur at seven and fifteen years respectively. For enlisted personnel the senior badge was awarded upon attaining a "7 skill level" and the master badge as a Master Sergeant or above with five years in the specialty from award of the senior badge. The grades of the Air Force Space and Missile badge were denoted by a star (senior) and wreath (master or command) centered above the decoration.[3]

The New Space Badge[edit | edit source]

Space Operations Badges (U.S. Air Force)
Space Badges (U.S. Army)
Top to bottom: Basic, Senior, and Master/Command

In 2004, the U.S. Air Force Space Command Commander, General Lance Lord, USAF, announced the introduction of the new Air Force Space Badge (AFSB), which replaced the Air Force Space and Missile Badge. The new badge was also awarded to U.S. Air Force scientists, engineers, communications, Intelligence, and acquisition professionals who have performed space/missile operations, intelligence, and acquisition duties and have successfully completed the Space 100 course.[1][3][9][10]

In 2006, the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force authorized the awarding of the Air Force Space Badge to Army personnel who meet specific guidelines for training and time in a space billet. On 19 October 2006, SGT Daniel Holscher, a satellite control operations noncommissioned officer with U.S. Army Central Space Support Element, was the first enlisted soldier to earn the Air Force Space Badge.[11] In February 2011, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army officially approved the establishment of the Air Force Space Badge as a joint Air Force and Army badge; thus, the words “Air Force” were dropped from the official name of the badge. U.S. Army personnel can be awarded the Space Badge after attending Air Force or Army space or satellite systems courses and have 12 months (for Active Army) or 24 months (for Army Reserve and Army National Guard) experience in a space billet. This new badge is also awarded to graduates of the FA-40A, Army Space Operations Officer course, replacing the Air Force Space and Missile Badge. From 2006 through April 2011, 1,425 Space Badges have been awarded to Army personnel.[6][8][12]

On January 2014, General William L. Shelton, USAF ordered the renaming of the Space Badge to Space Operations Badge and changed the rules associated with how Airman are eligible to earn the badge. The Space Operations Badge is now restricted to Air Force Specialty Codes 13S and 1C6 but can be earned by non-operations personnel after meeting certain criteria. For Airman to now earn the Space Operations Badge, members must have completed three years of operations-focused duties and receive Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) vice commander approval. To receive the Senior Space Operations Badge, members must complete seven years of operations-focused duties and get AFSPC vice commander approval. After completion of 15 years of operations-focused duties and AFSPC vice commander approval, Airmen are eligible for the Command Space Operations Badge. It is unknown if these changes will affect Army personnel who also earn this badge.[13][14]

The badge is informally referred to as "space wings" due to the resemblance to other aeronautical rating badges or "wings."[15][16]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 New space badge wear begins today, U.S. Air Force, dated 1 November 2005 last accessed 1 January 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards, U.S. Army, dated 25 June 2015, last accessed 1 January 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Air Force Instruction 36-2903: Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel, Dated 18/7/2011
  4. Officials bring back missile badges, wings, Posted 6/6/2008
  5. FA-40 Space Operations Graduation Ceremony, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command website, accessed 1 Feb 12
  6. 6.0 6.1 SMDC-OPZ-FB, ASPDO Procedural Guide #1 - Procedures for Awarding the Space Badge to Army Space Cadre Personnel Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine., dated 15 February 2011
  7. The Army Space Cadre: Space Professionals (FA40) and Space Enablers, U.S. Army, STAND-TO!, dated 28 September 2010, last accessed 1 March 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fact Sheet, ASCO/FA40 PPO, U.S. Army Space Cadre Office, Functional Area 40 Space Operations Personnel Proponent Office, last accessed 1 March 2014
  9. Air Force Instruction 36-3701: Space Professional Development Program, U.S. Air Force, dated 20 May 2010, last accessed 18 June 2014
  10. Officials unveil new space badge, Posted 10/7/2004
  11. Army Sergeant first to receive Air Force Space Badge, Blackanthem Military News, posted 27 Oct 07, accessed 1 Feb 12
  12. Space Badge recognizes warriors of the high ground, Army.mil, posted 21 Apr 11, accessed 1 Feb 12
  13. Space badge renamed, new guidance issued, U.S. Air Force News, by Master Sgt. Kevin Williams, dated 11 December 2013, last accessed 31 December 2013
  14. Space warriors earn Space Badges, army.mil, by Jason B. Cutshaw (USASMDC/ARSTRAT), dated 21 March 2014, last accessed 22 October 2016
  15. New Air Force cyberspace badge guidelines released, comment posted 4/29/2010 3:42:09 AM ET U.S. Air Force Official Website, posted 27 April 2010, accessed 8 April 2012
  16. AF Computer Warriors Get Wings. Seriously., christianfighterpilot.com, posted 29 April 2010, accessed 8 April 2012

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