The Trump Administration is proposing a new branch of the armed forces of the United States to be known as the “Space Force.” I would like to offer my opinion that a new military organization is unnecessary since we already have the personnel to boldly go where no one has gone before.
It is a recognized fact that the early Star Trek series had a profound influence on the future technological progress of our society. Captain Kirk was using flip phones long before modern consumers abandoned them in favor of smart phones.
A number of young kids who watched the sci-fi program grew up to be scientists who were interested in all things extraterrestrial. These days serious people speculate on the scientific possibilities of warp drive engines, gravity on space vehicles, life on other planets, and weapons that use lasers. And who wouldn’t like to be transported to a far away destination instantly?
So, taking a cue, let’s briefly consider a few science fiction movies and see what conclusions we can draw. There’s “Independence Day,” “Avatar,” Battle Los Angeles,” “Alien,” and “Starship Troopers.” And what do they all have as a common denominator? The people doing the warfare are Marines.
Yep. That’s right. Jarheads, Devil Dogs, Gyrenes, Leathernecks … Marines.
In “Independence Day,” Will Smith plays a Marine Corps captain and fighter pilot who … well, saves humanity from extinction. In “Avatar,” the Marines are led by a colonel who is a villain but … hey, if you want a really bad villain, who better than a crazed Marine? In 1986 the young Marines featured in “Alien” all died but as heroes fighting to the bitter end against a nightmarish foe almost as bad as ISIS.
And who saved the earth and all humanity once again from an alien hoard in “Battle Los Angeles?” A bunch of war dogs led by a Marine staff sergeant, that’s who.
And, in “Starship Troopers,” although enough men and women were killed by intelligent insects to make Iwo Jima look like a Sunday School picnic, they were all Marines.
Ergo, if science fiction is a prognosticator, the space warriors of the future will, of course, be United States Marines.
Oh, the other services won’t be neglected. The Coast Guard will keep on keeping on since we will always have sea-borne drug traffickers and capsized crab fishermen in Alaska. But the others will have a vital role, as well.
There will always be wars that are Earth-bound so the Army can handle that task. And, since the Marines will be off doing galactic stuff, when the going gets tough the Army can rely on the Navy SEALs to do the heavy lifting.
The President will always fly on Air Force One so their mission will be secure. And, after all, the Army will need the close air support of the flyboys. The Navy? The Navy will do what it always does … serve as the transportation taxi for the Marines.
Even in early Star Trek days, the USS Enterprise was fashioned after a Navy model. Captain Kirk and Captain Picard, in another military branch would be Colonels Kirk and Picard. And, although I can’t prove it, I suspect that the red-shirted fighters who always seemed to be doomed and never got proper credit or recognition were, in truth, Marines aboard ship.
So there you have it. No need for a totally separate military department. Just give the Marines the impossible jobs, as usual, and space will be secured.
And who would command the USMC Space Force? Why, retired Marine Corps General and current Secretary of Defense “Mad Dog” Mattis, of course.
It’s not a new concept. Marines have not been restricted to the planet for centuries. As the Marine’s Hymn says:
“If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.”
Make it so, America. Oorah!
[David Epps (a Marine veteran in case you haven’t guessed) is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City. He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at email@example.com.]