On Friday, the U.S. Military unveiled the uniforms to be worn by the new Space Force. The USSF became an official part of the military last month, but many still consider it a vague proposal from President Donald Trump. Social media erupted with reactions to the new uniforms.
The U.S. Space Force launched in December, when President Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act into law. This created the new military branch, which is tasked with providing "freedom of operation for the United States in, from, and to space," and providing "prompt and sustained space operations."
President Trump began calling for the creation of the Space Force in the spring of 2018. There were similar efforts in years past, including the the Air Force Space Command established in 1982 and the 2001 Space Commission. However, critics mocked the seemingly simplistic idea.
The U.S. Space Force is the first new branch of the U.S. Military since 1947. In an article for The Atlantic, writer Marina Koren wrote that "the version" of the Space Force "that became law isn't exactly the one [President Trump] might have in mind."
"The creation of the Space Force so far amounts to little more than bureaucratic reorganization," she added, citing Air Force Historical Support Division director Richard Wolf, who said: "All you're doing is reshuffling the deck chairs."
All of these concerns are in the future, however. For now, the U.S. Space Force consists of 16,000 individuals, all of whom will be clad in the fresh new uniforms unveiled this week. After responses to the uniforms went viral, the USSF Twitter account confirmed that they are simply re-purposed uniforms from other branches.
"USSF is utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one. Members will look like their joint counterparts they'll be working with, on the ground," it said.
The uniforms are camouflage, with patches including the American flag and a symbol of an eagle hovering over the globe, with the title "Space Commando" stitched beneath.
Reactions ranged from amused to outraged as people saw the uniforms online for the first time. Here's a look at how the Internet feels about the U.S. Space Force's new look.
Camo in space? WTF? More wasted tax dollars. Great job!— Matt Trainer (@thematttrainer) January 18, 2020
Many users argued that the Space Force itself was a "waste of tax dollars," and the uniforms were their first physical proof of it. The branch has reportedly been given $40 million in funding.
How many trees are you expecting to find in space— James Felton (@JimMFelton) January 18, 2020
They really made space force uniforms with forest camo. I hate this place come on man you could have made the illest uniforms for space force, some badass outer space alien looking shit and you went with forest camo. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/DZEa2tHWXw— Jacob™ (@JazzyJPrime) January 18, 2020
Of course, many users have been questioning the use of forestry camouflage. They pointed out that, as far as we know, most of the extra-planetary places we have access to do not have much greenery. They did this with varying levels of politeness towards the USSF Twitter account.
Don't you think something like this would be better camouflage? pic.twitter.com/hJqRka9rUC— EJL (@EJL1984) January 18, 2020
Some people responded with their own suggestions for USSF uniforms. They proposed starry designs that would be "better camouflage" in the inky black void of space.
That’s out of this world! What are the coordinates? Let’s trade.— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) January 18, 2020
The Twitter accounts of other military branches, such as the U.S. Navy, responded to the uniform reveal enthusiastically. This was too much for some readers, who equated it with fast food brands' accounts trying to act relatable online.
The complete and utter lack of intelligence coming out of these people's accounts is just appalling and complete and utter disrespect towards our men and women in service. What's worse is a lot of them are coming from verified accounts, which is just stupid to me.— One Ring To Rule Them All (@ZealousFoX) January 18, 2020
Naturally, the uniforms had a smattering of defenders, who gave realistic reasons for the uniforms to be made in forestry camouflage. However, responders suggested that these people were missing the point, or else taking things too seriously and missing the chance for a good joke.
I love the new Space Force uniforms. pic.twitter.com/Khz4HtY2Ll— Bryan Young (@swankmotron) January 18, 2020
Many users were disappointed with the lack of originality in the Space Force uniforms, feeling that such they should be more inspired by science fiction and fantasy. Many posted their favorite fashion items from Star Wars, Dune, Alien and other sci-fi franchises, proposing that the military take its lead from them.
the answer to why the Space Force uniform is camo is:— Middle East Expert Who Cannot Speak Arabic (@punished_stu) January 18, 2020
2. The Space Force isn't real and will never deploy
Finally, the uniforms inspired some real conversations about the necessity of the U.S. Space Force — or lack thereof. Critics of the new branch argued that it was created as a publicity stunt and nothing more, and the uniforms were simply proof of that. This got lots of pushback, and inconclusive arguments ensued.