Following the May application window for active-duty Airmen in specified career fields to volunteer to transfer to the U.S. Space Force, the service has selected 2,410 members in the organic space specialties of space operations (13S) and space systems operations (1C6) for transfer starting on September 1.
These space operators will officially commission or enlist, as applicable for officers or enlisted, into the Space Force and will grow the initial ranks of the new service.
Members selected for transfer will receive MyPers messages later in July with instructions for required administrative tasks to complete prior to executing their transfers. While most members will execute their transfers around September 1, some members awaiting various administrative processes, such as a pending promotion board, will transfer at a later date when those actions are completed.
The actual number of members who complete transfers may differ slightly from the number approved for transfer as members make this personal decision based on their individual and family circumstances at that time.
In total, more than 8,500 active-duty Airmen from 13 eligible officer and enlisted career fields volunteered to transfer. The 2,410 members selected were in space operations career fields. The remainder of the volunteers come from career fields common to both the Air Force and the Space Force: intelligence (14N), cyberspace operations (17X), developmental engineer (62E), acquisition manager (63A), operations intelligence (1N0), geospatial intelligence (1N1), signals intelligence (1N2), fusion analyst (1N4), targeting analyst (1N8), cyberspace support (3D0), and client systems (3D1).
Members in the common specialties will undergo a transfer selection process that will balance space experience, space credentials, and performance and potential as evaluated during a transfer board. Transfer boards for officer common career fields are scheduled for the end of July, and for enlisted common career fields later in the fall. The results will be announced approximately 30 days after each board is completed. Transfers for personnel selected from these boards are expected to begin February 1, 2021.
As active-duty space operations missions and functions will completely transfer to the Space Force and will no longer be available in the Air Force, space operators who declined to transfer during the May volunteer window will also receive MyPers messages later in July explaining next steps. Options for those members include applying for retraining into another career field, applying to transition into the reserve components, or applying for separation or retirement, if eligible.
In the meantime, those members will remain in the Air Force and may be assigned duties in the Space Force. At the end of the transition period, expected to be sometime in 2022, organic space specialties will be removed from Air Force inventory and assignments in those mission areas will no longer be an option for Air Force members.
Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel remain critical to the space mission. Today, Air Guard and Air Force Reserve units executing space missions are currently aligned to the Space Force, and will continue supporting Space Force missions in this status while the future of the reserve component for the Space Force is determined. The status of Department of the Air Force civilians, whether assigned to Air Force or Space Force organizations, is unchanged.
For members of the other military services, the timeframe for Army and Navy space requirements to move to the Space Force is in fiscal years 2022-23. Although legal provisions exist for members of other services to transfer to the Space Force, the current focus is on Air Force members. The Space Force will release further details for a limited inter-service transfer program for other sister services for fiscal year 2021.
Members in organic space career fields needing more information may contact their servicing military personnel flight or the Total Force Service Center.
“This is an exciting and historic time for these space operators who will be some of the first members to join the Space Force,” said Lt. Gen. David “DT” Thompson, Vice Commander, U.S Space Force. “Each one of them has an important responsibility to contribute bold ideas to shape the Space Force into a 21st century service.”
“There has been substantial planning behind the scenes between the Space Force and Air Force personnel lists to get us to this day,” said Patricia Mulcahy, Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Personnel and Logistics. “We understand the personal circumstances that influence a member’s decision to volunteer for transfer, and I am incredibly proud of the team’s thoughtfulness put into every decision to ensure we provide members with as seamless a transfer process as possible.”