Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump tweeted out the new — and yet surprisingly familiar — logo for the United States Space Force, a new branch of the military focused largely on orbital satellites.
After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military! pic.twitter.com/TC8pT4yHFT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020
As pretty much everyone on Twitter who is familiar with the science-fiction canon pointed out almost immediately, this logo very closely resembles that of Starfleet, the fictional fleet of exploratory and peacekeeping starships at the heart of the Star Trek franchise.
George Takei, the actor who played Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek series in the 1960s, tweeted in response to Trump that “we are expecting some royalties from this.”
In fairness, Space Force is not the first arm of the United States military to borrow from Star Trek. Indeed, it appears that the Air Force may have found similar inspiration from the venerable science-fiction franchise.
For those excitedly tweeting that Trump stole the Star Trek logo!!!!, the patch on the left was the existing Air Force Command logo.
The same one I wore as a Lieutenant in 2005. pic.twitter.com/mYb60YioBP
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) January 24, 2020
Sadly, Space Force will not be comprised of warp-capable vessels that explore the galaxy while defending a largely benevolent United Federation of Planets. Instead, it will primarily seek to maintain the United States’ dominance over China and Russia among the various man-made satellites that orbit our planet.
As The Verge’s Loren Grush explained, Space Force is responsible for “operating, training, and equipping” all of the space assets that the military’s Space Command needs. That includes “acquiring the right surveillance or communications satellites, getting them into space, and training people to operate those vehicles.”
Approximately 16,000 active-duty airmen are expected to be assigned to Space Force. Space Force is the first new branch of the military since the US Air Force’s inception in 1947.
As of this writing, neither Klingon nor Vulcan personnel serve in Space Force, nor in any other branch of the United States military. Yet.