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The new Space Force uniforms are some of the most bizarre ensembles under the sun, according to some Twitter users.

I'll confess to a giggle when I saw the Space Force's proposed dress uniform.

With a diagonal row of platinum buttons and a Nehru collar on the jacket that covers a conventional Air Force shirt and tie, it just seems a bit like a second-hand coat rejected by the producers of a Star Wars movie.

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But it might just make sense for the quirky, tiny service that maintains and defends American dominance in orbit.

When it hits its planned peak of 13,000 troops, the entire Space Force would comfortably fit on Fort Carson — twice. In the Air Force, space troops are at the bottom of a pecking order that's topped by fighter pilots in their flashy F-22s. Those same fighter pilots nearly revolted years ago when space troops were allowed to wear the same leather jackets that flight crews proudly flaunt.

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Airmen crow about their warrior exploits while the space troops, who ensure weapons launched from fighters and bombers actually hit targets, are best known for their silence.

The rest of the military probably wouldn't understand if space troops were talkative. They have their own language.

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And unlike the other warriors who dominate the Defense Department scene, Space Force people seem to revel in showing off their inner geekery.

The very name applied to space troops, "guardians," comes from super hero movie franchise "Guardians of the Galaxy," which features a wayward and socially awkward leader atop a crew that prominently features a talkative racoon.

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In the Space Force, the uniform insignia that shows expertise in satellites are known as "Buzz Lightyear" wings, after a character in a Disney film.

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And the guardians love their odd acronyms. The service's most important sub unit is Space Operations Command, which in a nod to television's Star Trek goes by SpOC, which is pronounced in a manner that mimics the name of the science officer of the fictional Starship Enterprise.

It's enough to curl the hair of troops whose idea of warfare includes fixing a bayonet to close on the enemy.

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But the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines can fight in their assigned domains. Soldiers can walk in the woods, Marines wallow in mud and sailors, well, sail the seas. The Air Force zooms through the clouds ,and even the long-suffering Coast Guard can send troops to the place implied by its name.

Space Force troops can't see or feel their battlefield above the planet. They must imagine it, calculating orbital mechanics while anticipating enemy moves in the heavens.

Their weapons are satellites — essentially space-faring robots — along with the computers and antennas on Earth that control them.

It is a battle won or lost by brains, not brawn.

And getting brains into uniform hasn't been easy for the Pentagon. From computer warfare experts to troops who run nuclear reactors, the military has struggled with reaching teenagers who could head to college and land high-paying civilian work.

But America couldn't withstand a battle on the ground without its assets in space. The Army is the nation's largest user of satellite gear, with spacecraft showing them the path through deserts, revealing enemy locations and plans, putting bombs in enemy bunkers and conveying orders from the brass.

Geeks make the gear work. And the gear, put in the hands of well-trained soldiers, wins battles.

So, if the Space Force can use Star Trek uniforms to better recruit troops, the rest of us should probably get out of the way.

But I will offer a single suggestion: With a Nehru collar, how about offering the uniform jacket in pale paisley patterns? After all, that kind of camouflage worked for the Beatles in 1965.

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

City Editor

Tom Roeder is the Gazette's City Editor. In Colorado Springs since 2003, Tom has covered the military at home and overseas and has covered statehouses in Denver and Olympia, Wash. His main job, though, is being dad to two great kids.

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