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Space Force 2nd Lts. Amy Coba and Elizabeth Kowal, graduates of Air University’s Officer Training School Class 20-08, recite the Space Force oath of office at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Oct. 16, 2020.Space Force 2nd Lts. Amy Coba and Elizabeth Kowal, graduates of Air University’s Officer Training School Class 20-08, recite the Space Force oath of office at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Oct. 16, 2020.

The development of the culture of the Space Force, the training Space Force personnel (now called guardians) will receive, the balance between enlisted and officer ranks in the new service, and how the force will be constituted were among the issues that Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, the new service's first senior enlisted advisor, discussed in a recent interview.

The U.S. Space Force celebrated its first anniversary on Dec. 20. There are now roughly 2,300 uniformed members of the new force and it is projected to grow to around 6,500. Currently, there are about 100 new accessions in the service, and the remainder of the military members transferred from the Air Force. This year, the service will transfer about 3,500 more members from the Air Force and begin merging personnel from the other services into their units. There are currently 16,000 military and civilians assigned to the Space Force, and that number is expected to grow to about 20,000 in the next couple of years.

A third of the assigned force today is enlisted personnel, and typically the non-commissioned officers are the custodians of a service's traditions and culture.

Retired New York Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Coon, center in red jacket, steps off for the 15th annual Christmas Eve Road March in Glens Falls, N.Y., Dec. 24, 2018. Coon has organized the annual event to honor deployed service members s... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)Retired New York Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Coon, center in red jacket, steps off for the 15th annual Christmas Eve Road March in Glens Falls, N.Y., Dec. 24, 2018. Coon has organized the annual event to honor deployed service members s... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- Volunteers from across the New York National Guard joined more than 1,000 military family members, community supporters and Gold Star Families for the 15th annual Christmas Eve road march December 24, 2018 here in Glens Falls to show their support for military personnel serving overseas during the holidays.

Ohio Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Gregory Sprowls explains the process of receiving and repacking COVID-19 vaccines. Sprowls, an air transportation specialist with the 121st Air Refueling Wing in Columbus, Ohio, said his military skills have helped in working with partners from the Ohio Department of Health to develop the logistics plan for the vaccines the state will soon have at its Receive, Store and Stage warehouse. (Photo by Courtesy Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's office)Ohio Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Gregory Sprowls explains the process of receiving and repacking COVID-19 vaccines. Sprowls, an air transportation specialist with the 121st Air Refueling Wing in Columbus, Ohio, said his military skills have helped in working with partners from the Ohio Department of Health to develop the logistics plan for the vaccines the state will soon have at its Receive, Store and Stage warehouse. (Photo by Courtesy Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's office)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Military and civilian partners form an assembly line around tables and carefully work together to safely transfer glass vials into small boxes. Time is of the essence to keep the vials super cold. The vials are empty now and the packaging assembly lines are just for practice, as the Ohio National Guard works with the Ohio Department of Health to prepare for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. A. Jared Forst and Sgt. Becca Meerwarth take their oath of reenlistment Oct. 30, 2020, in Kuwait. The reenlistment was carried out at the Kuwait Martyr’s Museum with Col. Sean Flynn administering the oath. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Trevor Cullen)U.S. Army Staff Sgt. A. Jared Forst and Sgt. Becca Meerwarth take their oath of reenlistment Oct. 30, 2020, in Kuwait. The reenlistment was carried out at the Kuwait Martyr’s Museum with Col. Sean Flynn administering the oath. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Trevor Cullen)

ARIFJAN, Kuwait – In front of a host nation's historical landmark, two 42nd Infantry Division Soldiers stand side-by-side, showcasing their devotion to their community, state and nation.

In front of the Kuwait Martyr's Museum, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. A. Jared Forst and U.S. Army Sgt. Becca Meerwarth administered their oath of service as they re-enlisted in the New York Army National Guard while deployed to the Middle East to support Operation Spartan Shield.

Senior Airman Alexis Maher, 103rd Security Forces Squadron defender, packs a vehicle with Thanksgiving meal kits at Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby, Connecticut, Nov. 16, 2020. Maher organized the squadron’s second annual Thanksgiving food drive, in which 103rd Airlift Wing members helped donate a total of 120 family meal kits to food banks in six Connecticut towns. (Courtesy photo)Senior Airman Alexis Maher, 103rd Security Forces Squadron defender, packs a vehicle with Thanksgiving meal kits at Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby, Connecticut, Nov. 16, 2020. Maher organized the squadron’s second annual Thanksgiving food drive, in which 103rd Airlift Wing members helped donate a total of 120 family meal kits to food banks in six Connecticut towns.
(Courtesy photo)

EAST GRANBY, Conn. – As many Americans continue to face health and economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Connecticut Air National Guard member is making sure families can enjoy a warm meal this Thanksgiving.

New York Air National Guard Senior Airman Caleb Lapinel trains on tactical swimming in a Brazilian river in October 2020 while attending the  international course conducted annually by the Brazil Jungle Warfare Center, known as CIGS for its Portugese initials. Lapinel was the only American in the class of ten.( Courtesy Photo)New York Air National Guard Senior Airman Caleb Lapinel trains on tactical swimming in a Brazilian river in October 2020 while attending the international course conducted annually by the Brazil Jungle Warfare Center, known as CIGS for its Portugese initials. Lapinel was the only American in the class of ten.( Courtesy Photo)

MANAUS, Brazil – When Senior Airman Caleb Lapinel showed up at Brazil’s Jungle Warfare Training School in September, he met special forces soldiers from Spain, Egypt and Indonesia; paratroopers from Paraguay; amphibious infantrymen from Nigeria, and a Kaibil special operator from Guatemala whose motto is: “ If I advance follow me, if I stop urge me on, if I retreat, kill me.”

“I was worried about that in the beginning,” Lapinel said.

“I said, ‘Wow. I am surrounded by this bunch of paratroopers and special forces; the best of the best from their countries,” he recalled.

He, on the other hand, is an intelligence analyst for the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing, which specializes in flying to Antarctica and Greenland.

He was also at least five years younger than the rest of the class.

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