Out of a pool of more than 3,700 applicants, the first 50 Active-duty Army, Navy, and Marine Corps volunteers were announced for transfer to the Space Force beginning in July. A second tranche of 350 transfers will be announced in July to match Space Force specialties including space operations, intelligence, cyber, engineering, and acquisition.
The highly competitive process continues the organic growth of the military’s newest service, joining 5,200 Air Force transfers.
“We are overwhelmed by the number of applicants, and the outpouring of support our sister services have provided as we’ve partnered together to design the Space Force,” said Gen. David D. Thompson, vice chief of space operations, in a June 30 press statement.
The total manpower of the Space Force is roughly 12,000 Guardians, with some 6,000 civilians and 5,500 military as of June 15. An undisclosed number of Air Force Airmen also continue to support the Space Force in an administrative assignment capacity.
A Space Force spokesperson told Air Force Magazine June 30 that the force is onboarding the first 50 transfers from other services in fiscal 2021, which ends Sept. 30. The July announcement of 350 more transfers will be onboarded in the 2022 fiscal year.
New Guardians will join the force on a staggered approach according to their own individual schedules rather than a single transfer ceremony.
“When we will get to 16,000 depends on a lot of future transfers,” the spokesperson said of the number of Guardians Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond has said will encompass a “lean” new fighting force.
The Space Force is also expected to voluntarily absorb units and mission sets from other services, including the Navy and Army. The timeline for which units will be incorporated into the Space Force and how many service members will be asked to voluntarily transfer is still to be determined.
“It’s being worked and more information will be released in the coming months,” the spokesperson said.