Vigilant Vector: New badge, new program, new rules
General Lord's comments on the new space badge


By General Lance W. Lord, Air Force Space Command Commander
Posted Monday, October 31, 2005

  
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A central element in our drive for a dynamic and enduring space professional community is to grow and nurture a sense of space culture. Since the space and missile missions merged in 1993 we’ve recognized that the multiple badges worn by the distinct segments of the Air Force space community had a bipolarizing influence. Beginning on 1 November 2005, we will unify our USAF Credentialed Space Professional Community under a single Space Badge--a recognizable, distinctive symbol of the unique and challenging space mission and those who execute it.
New Badge…New Program…New Rules

The Space Badge is like no other in recent memory. It will be worn by officer and enlisted Credentialed Space Professionals (CSP) representing five principal Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC) and will ultimately include our Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard counterparts. As the design of this badge emerged, with direct inputs from the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff, we agreed that it should reflect the composite sum of a CSP’s space expertise—a visible display of each individual’s qualification in the areas of education, training and experience. Accordingly, award of the badge is directly linked to the Space Professional Certification Program, so CSPs earn each level of the badge based on exacting standards. The rigor of this program means the basic, senior and command badges represent the solid space credentials of the wearer and, as the most significant departure from previous badges, are not based on a single AFSC, time requirement or skill level.

Achieving the basic badge is a significant milestone capped by a special briefing to the wing commander/equivalent that underscores the individuals’ Level I certification as a space professional and membership in this unique community. Through this briefing, each member of the CSP Community will demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the space mission, its key components and the space professional development program--the final step to initial CSP entry. The senior and command badges require equally important prerequisites associated with Certification Levels II and III. Award of these advanced levels is not automatic, as such the badge represents a substantial career accomplishment that clearly communicates professionalism and ability.

Conclusion

I’ve worn the Missile Badge for 36 years and the Space and Missile Badge for 12 years, so I fully appreciate the strong loyalty, steeped tradition and outstanding accomplishments associated with these symbols. The Missile Badge with the operations designator and the Space and Missile Badge will forever be associated with the thousands of men and women who, through their eternal vigilance, helped us win the Cold War. The Space Badge acknowledges this honored heritage, focuses on the future, as well as the significant contributions space systems and space professionals offer the Nation. CSPs bring specialized skills and experience to the fight: a thorough understanding of space weapons systems, the unique limitations and capabilities of those systems, and the critical integration of space systems into joint warfighting. Now more than ever, our Nation’s security relies on space dominance. In that spirit, it’s time for Air Force Credentialed Space Professionals to be recognized for their vital role in securing America’s freedom. Join me in proudly wearing this new symbol of a unique and critical element of America’s strength.


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