NGA Director Vice Adm. Robert Sharp swore in the U.S. Space Force’s newest officers during a ceremony at NGA’s east campus Feb. 5.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Maxwell Hill and Capt. Jefferson Mitchell reaffirmed the Oath of Office, officially transferring from the USAF to the USSF. They join more than 16,000 service members officially known as guardians.
Sharp opened his remarks recognizing the significance of the ceremony and the importance of the historic occasion.
“Look how far we’ve come in just a little bit over a year,” said Sharp, referring to the USSF’s birthday on Dec. 20, 2019. “This is an important step for the country given the strategic environment.”
Sharp said the USSF’s newest guardians are blazing a trail, a concept that played into Mitchell’s and Hill’s decisions to transfer.
Not many officers get the opportunity to transfer to a brand-new service, said Mitchell.
“[I want] to create the foundation of a new service for future generations to propel forward beyond our dreams,” Mitchell said.
NGA is working with the USSF to provide geospatial intelligence to support and identify future needs of the service, according to Dave Hoerner, the agency’s space subject matter expert. NGA has created a new support team, or NST, embedded at USSF headquarters in the Pentagon, he said.
Sharp highlighted the importance of the agency’s partnership with the USSF, which allows NGA to better understand how to compete successfully in the space domain.
“Detailed knowledge of the earth, from seabed to space, is necessary so we can build the products and services our forces need,” said Sharp.
It’s these opportunities that excite Hill.
“Space is poppin’!” he said.
Hill said he is looking forward to experiencing the universality of the space community, the new technologies and different operational locations. Everybody relies on space capabilities, said Hill.
Hill is fulfilling his first USSF assignment working for the associate director for capabilities, or OSO. Mitchell is awaiting an assignment later this year.
“Decades from now, you’re going to be telling stories about this day,” Sharp told them.
The historical ceremony concluded with the official USSF march and congratulatory elbow bumps between the director and the new guardians.
From www.spaceforce.mil : The USSF is the newest branch of the Armed Forces, established December 20, 2019 with enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force, meaning the Secretary of the Air Force has overall responsibility for the USSF, under the guidance and direction of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, a four-star general known as the Chief of Space Operations (CSO) serves as the senior military member of the USSF and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.