This Monday, President Trump announced that he’s ordering the Pentagon to create a “space force” which will be the Defense Department’s sixth service branch of the U.S. military.
“In defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” Trump said during a meeting with members of the National Space Council.
“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” he continued. “That’s a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal.”
The announcement takes a statement Trump made in March and turns it into reality.
During a speech to military personnel in San Diego, California on March 13, Trump said that “we’re going to do a tremendous amount of work in space.”
BREAKING- Scott Baio has been chosen to head the Space Force although he has not been around stars in 30 years.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) June 18, 2018
“Maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force,’” Trump said.
The idea was met with skepticism from military leaders, who said that creating a separate space entity would be premature and only burden the armed forces.
Speaking the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, head of U.S. Strategic Command Gen. John Hyten said that now is not the right time for such a force.
“I think that someday we’ll have a space corps or ‘Space Force’ in this country. But I don’t think the time is right for that right now,” Hyten said.
Speaking directly to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, who also opposed the idea, Trump said he’d be “greatly honored” if Dunford carried out the order.
Watch the video below, via C-SPAN:
Featured image via screen grab