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Space Force unveils new uniforms, designed first for women

The wraparound prototypes button on the side rather than down the middle, drawing comparisons to the uniforms worn by the cast of Star Trek.
Gen. John Raymond, center, chief of Space Operations, introduces the new Space Force uniform prototypes Tuesday at the Air Force Association's 2021 Air, Space and Cyber Conference.
Gen. John Raymond, center, chief of Space Operations, introduces the new Space Force uniform prototypes Tuesday at the Air Force Association's 2021 Air, Space and Cyber Conference. [ MIKE TSUKAMOTO | Air Force Magazine ]
Published Sep. 22
Updated Sep. 22

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—The Space Force this week unveiled its new designs for service dress and workout uniforms as it continues to forge its own identity in the Pentagon.

Two guardians showed off the business uniform for the first time at the Air Force Association’s annual conference in Maryland, showcasing a unisex look that the Space Force initially devised for women before adjusting for men’s comfort as well.

The Space Force is the first military service created since women were given the opportunity to hold the same roles as men, making this the first uniform designed with women in mind from the start.

The uniform is “distinctive, modern, professional, and comfortable to wear,” Space Force spokesperson Col. Catie Hague said. “We designed the female uniform first and then we created the male version.”

Rather than the typical suit-style uniform that buttons in the middle, the Space Force’s preliminary design features a dark blue, wraparound jacket with diagonal buttons over a dress shirt and neckwear. White stripes around the wrists and grey pants complete the look.

Social media users likened it to Star Trek garb and bellhop uniforms.

The wraparound Space Force uniforms are drawing comparisons to the uniforms worn by the cast of Star Trek, including Robin Curtis as Lt. Saavik.
The wraparound Space Force uniforms are drawing comparisons to the uniforms worn by the cast of Star Trek, including Robin Curtis as Lt. Saavik.

The number six figures heavily in the design to represent the space service’s arrival as the sixth military branch, with six buttons, a six-sided name tag, and six-sided enlisted insignia that the Space Force revealed on Monday.

“The deep blue color was chosen from the Space Force seal. The dark color represents the vastness of outer space,” Hague said. “The buttons have the globe, delta, orbit and stars that are part of both the U.S. Space Force flag and the seal.”

Guardians have also started testing out a fresh physical training wardrobe.

The jacket, shirt and shorts are “designed for guardians to be physically ready to protect the U.S. and allied interests in space” and “developed to withstand the most grueling physical regimens,” Second Lt. Mahala Norris said in a video, adding that she’s helping to vet the clothing.

Norris — who became the first Department of the Air Force runner to earn a national championship title since 1964 when she won the NCAA’s 3,000-meter steeplechase race in June — appeared in the Space Force’s ad for the new physical training gear.

In keeping with the Space Force’s rule of sixes, it was only Norris’s sixth time racing in a steeplechase event when she won at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships — an event with 35 barriers and seven water pits. She placed 13th in the steeplechase finals at the U.S. Olympic trials.

“I won at the collegiate level. Now it’s time to win for the Space Force,” she said. “Train hard, guardians.”

Hague said the service wants to finalize the uniform designs in the coming months, but it could be years before they’re widely available to any guardian who wants them.

Last year, the Space Force announced it would adopt operational camouflage pattern uniforms to match the Air Force and Army garb. Service members had until April 1, 2021, to adopt the new look.

Space Force officials have yet to offer a sneak peek at the service’s forthcoming formal mess dress uniforms.