The US Space Force is the youngest and least understood of the service branches. Carved out of the Air Force by passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, USSF was the first new military service since the creation of the Air Force itself in 1947. Join us for a conversation about all things Space Force with Colonel Matthew A. Morand, who commands one of the largest ROTC programs in the nation at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Col Morand switched to Space Force in February 2021, after 25 years as an Air Force officer. He’ll tell us what the move means for him, and what the stand-up of Space Force means for the country and the future of warfare. The birth of Space Force signals an acknowledgement that the incalculable expanse beyond the atmosphere of earth is now a realm of great power competition. Space Force “Guardians,” as service members are called, are trained to police that realm and protect US spacecraft—satellites, especially—from attack. Take GPS, for example. The technology that guides our driving, locates our cellphones, and allows us to search the globe on our keyboards–Global Positioning System (GPS)–was created by the Pentagon during the late stages of the Vietnam War. Today, this satellite-based radionavigation system runs much of the world, from banking transactions to agricultural automations to healthcare infrastructures. If GPS went down, our world would become chaotic. One of Space Force’s major missions is operating the GPS system and protecting it from harm, accidental or intentional. Space Force Guardians, then, are aptly named. Bring your questions and insights to the conversation with Col Morand so we can all understand better this new addition to the United States Armed Forces.

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