Both uncertainty and excitement surround the creation of the Space Force, the military’s newest independent branch of service. One thing is clear, it is going to be an adventure for both service members and spouses.
Created in December 2019 via the National Defense Authorization Act, Space Force will be its own independent branch under the umbrella of the Air Force.
Many details are still being ironed out, leaving military families working in or connected to a space career field wondering what will this mean for them. At this point, there are still too many unknowns that even the most seasoned military spouse can’t overlook.
The military is currently working to transfer Air Force-related space jobs to the Space Force, with organic space careers set to begin in September 2020 and space common career fields to be transferred by February 2021. Space-related career fields for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps are still being discussed and are currently planned for FY22/23. For those who applied to transition to the Space Force earlier this year, it is a wait and see game of what will happen next.
Currently, no one knows what a transfer to the Space Force will mean. Will it require you to move out of cycle to a new base? Or will you stay where you are until your regularly scheduled move? Each answer is based on too many factors to know at this point. So many spouses and families remain uncertain about where they will be living a year from now.
But the locations to choose from can give you some reprieve as you dream about beach living in Los Angeles, the mountains in Colorado and many more locations across the country that make you think, that might be a nice place to live.
Mix of uncertainty and excitement
A new branch of the military hasn’t happened in 60 years. It is a new way forward. The space community has been under the Air Force’s control and run by pilots. The realization that this dynamic wasn’t the best option for a thriving Space Force may be one of the primary factors for the creation of the new force. For those leaving the Air Force behind — including a culture where pilots are king — I wonder what the new standard will be. A force that could be led by engineers and scientists feels unknown, but with unlimited possibilities.
One thing the Space Force may offer is a more stable life for not only its members but the families. There is talk of creating a standard move cycle of six years or longer, giving that all-important gift of time at one location — something so many military spouses, like me, crave to build their community and find a job.
While TDYs will vary based on the job and location, there is a possibility that deployments may not be as relevant to this new branch. With so much of the work being done within the Space Force being classified and well . . .in space. Hopefully, there will be little need to move away from the classified safe where the work and to a new location.
One day maybe our Space Force will fight battles direct in space, but for now, we monitor the work being done back on Earth.
Related: Space Force: what you need to know
The next adventure ahead
The Space Force is a unique opportunity for those who are transferring because service members have the option to opt into this new branch. Unlike when you join the military and are unsure about what you might be signing up for, those who are transferring to the Space Force have most likely already done the job they are transferring to do. This gives those who chose to leave the Air Force the opportunity to continue in a career they love. And when your service member is doing work they love, that makes it easier on the spouse at home too.
Even though we are saying goodbye to what was once familiar and part of our story, we know that the next chapter could be even greater. So, we try to put aside our worry about what is to come and focus on what we do know and continue to move forward. Because that is what we do. We are military spouses, along for the ride, but ready for what waits ahead.Read comments