By Anna-Marie Wyant
National Reconnaissance Office
FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Approximately 20 Airmen assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office officially transitioned from the U.S. Air Force to the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony at Fort Belvoir Sept. 2.
NRO Deputy Director Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Guetlein officiated the ceremony and administered the Oath of Enlistment and Oath of Office as inductees stood in formation at the amphitheater on post.
“Few have had the honor of defending this nation from the ultimate high ground of space,” Guetlein said. “It is now up to you to make this legacy our new service.”
Guetlein told the new USSF inductees to remember their Air Force heritage, but also forge the way forward in the newest U.S. military service.
“The Space Force is moving fast, and there’s a mountain of work to be done,” he said. “We are gaining momentum, and this puts us at the leading edge of this historic shift in American warfighting capability.”
Official transfers into the USSF began Sept. 1 and will continue through the fall. During this period, more than 2,400 Airmen in space operations and space systems operations career fields will transfer into the USSF. In addition to this ceremony, USSF Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond will officiate a virtual swearing-in Sept. 15.
To officially transfer, members must separate from the USAF and commission or enlist in the USSF. By volunteering to transfer, members incur a minimum two-year active-duty service commitment.
NRO Director Dr. Christopher Scolese provided closing remarks, observing the significance of the event. The Space Force is the first U.S. military service established since 1947, which marked the creation of the Air Force. He also drew comparisons between the NRO and USSF, stating people are at the heart both organizations.
“Like the NRO, the Space Force knows that high performing people are essential to mission advancement and success,” he said. “Both organizations are fortunate to have you.”
“Congratulations on being plank-holders, the first crew of Space Force operators in the establishment of a new force,” he added. “Thank you for all you do for the U.S. Space Force, the NRO and the nation.”
The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force on Dec. 20, 2019 and will continue to develop and grow over the next year. Its mission and responsibilities include protecting U.S. and partner nation interests in space, providing space capabilities to the joint force, developing military space professionals and acquiring military space systems.
The National Reconnaissance Office is the U.S. government agency in charge of designing, building, launching and maintaining U.S. intelligence satellites. Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, the NRO has hundreds of USAF and USSF personnel assigned to various locations across the globe.