Why the New U.S. Space Force Will Wear Army Camouflage

The newest branch of the military is wearing hand-me-downs, and Twitter has some thoughts.

Space Force Uniforms
The Space Force just got its first lesson on what happens when you try to be sincere on Twitter.
Twitter/@SpaceForceDoD
By Kayla Kibbe / January 21, 2020 12:28 pm

When the United States Space Force proudly unveiled the name tapes for the new branch’s utility uniforms on Twitter last week, Twitter responded by doing what it does best: making a lot of jokes.

While the Space Force was trying to show off the uniforms’ new blue-embroidered name tapes (a contrast from the Army’s black lettering and the Air Force’s brown), Twitter was more concerned with the uniforms themselves, with users questioning why, exactly, the same camouflage used in the Army and Air Force would be necessary in space.

“Unclear on why there’s a need for camouflage … in space …” tweeted Star Trek actor George Takei, while screenwriter Jason Filiatrault/author of the Twitter account @SarcasticRover chimed in with, “Never know when you’re gonna have to blend into a space jungle or hide behind a space bush.”

The Space Force defended the uniform on Twitter, explaining that since environment-specific camouflage would not be necessary in space, the branch would be “utilizing current Army/Air Force uniforms, saving costs of designing/producing a new one.”

The Space Force also clarified that the hand-me-down uniform design wasn’t just a matter of penny-pinching. “Space Operators are on the ground, on Earth working with joint partners like the @usairforce and @USArmy,” Space Force wrote in a separate tweet. “Hence utilizing their uniform.”

As Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and former senior executive at NASA, told the New York Times, “The vast majority of the women and men serving in the Space Force will be doing their important work right here on Earth, just like other members of the military.”

That said, while the Space Force may be rolling its eyes at Twitter’s lame jokes and incomplete understanding of the armed forces, Leshin conceded that “it’s easy to see why folks on Twitter would find the initial Space Force uniform amusing.” After all, she added, “Who doesn’t love a good Moon of Endor joke?”

Welcome to Twitter, Space Force.

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