MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond welcomed over 300 officers and enlisted personnel from the Maxwell-Gunter community and around the world into the Space Force during a virtual ceremony, Sept. 15, 2020.
Following his remarks at the Air Force Association’s 2020 Virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Raymond led a ceremonial swearing-in for the Airmen transferring to the new service.
Air University held a U.S. Space Force Commissioning and Enlistment Ceremony in conjunction with Raymond’s ceremonial swearing-in, where 18 company grade officers from Maxwell-Gunter transferred to the Space Force.
Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Air University commander and president, officiated the AU ceremony.
“This first major transition of Air Force members to the United States Space Force is a milestone event toward further developing our leaders and warfighters of today to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said Hecker. “The Air University team is eager to continue supporting the foundational construction of our new sister service as they build their professional development and education programs.”
Only a month before the ceremony, the Space Force consisted of fewer than 100 service members, to include Raymond and his senior enlisted advisor, Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, and 86 Air Force Academy graduates.
On Sept. 1, 2,400 space professionals began transferring from the Air Force into the USSF. As of Sept. 15, more than 1,000 have done so, and the remaining transfers will continue throughout the fall, raising the ranks of the USSF to more than 2,500 military personnel.
In his presentation, Raymond said that bringing space professionals together for this virtual event was symbolic of the digital and global model used to build the Space Force. He emphasized the need to establish a separate Space Force, comparing it to when the Air Force was established from the Army 73 years ago, reminding the audience of the decisiveness of air power in World War II when the concept of a separate air force was still relatively novel.
“I am not confident that we can achieve victory, or even compete, in a modern conflict without space power, and I am not willing to lose in order to learn,” said Raymond. “Today, the Space Force is answering that call to compete, forging a warfighting service that is always above. I am really proud to lead you into the future and I can’t thank you enough for your service.”
Following his remarks, the general ceremonially administered the oath of office and oath of enlistment to his new Space Force officers and enlisted members.