Reckon it’s official

Of course, some are snickering that it looks like the Starfleet logo.
That’s a sure sign that they know squat about AF space culture.
That symbol’s been official for forty-odd years.

NOTE: I wore the old Master Space Operations badge (center) when it was introduced in the late ’70s.
I retired before the new winged thing came to pass.
(What? Nope, never heard “paper airplane”)

Historical ref


  1. Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:40 am |

    It appears that the lobbying effort of Barack Obama for the logo to be a Crescent Moon and Star has been defeated.

  2. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:31 am |

    “…Nope, never heard “paper airplane””
    Settle for unobtanium airplane?

  3. rickn8or
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:48 am |

    The winged’ thing somehow looks… oh I don’t know, “vaguely Soviet.”

  4. jlw
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:53 am |

    i suspect that the morons criticizing the Starfleet similarity never considered that the Starfleet logo was a copy, meant to honor the past, not the other way around.

    they probably think that the USS Enterprise was named after the fictional spacecraft rather than the spacecraft being a fictional addition to a long, honorable series of US Navy vessels named Enterprise.

    a series beginning in 1775 to now, with a new one due to enter service in 2028

  5. Fat Baxter
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:41 am |

    DougM — I’ve tried to point this out on several comment threads elsewhere (that Air Force heraldry predated most of this), only to get yelled at by ahistorical millenials. (Full disclosure: I too wore the old basic space badge)

  6. Deserttrek
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:44 pm |

    Luv it when facts are presented
    Thank you

  7. DougM (used to be somebody)
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm |

    Fat Baxter ^
    Attaboy! (AF didn’t have an “OOHRAH/OOOAH” thing in my day)
    We wore the pocket rocket before the space badge came along.
    Actually, some of that motif carries over, dunnit?

    rickn8or @3
    YES! That’s it!
    Couldn’t put my finger on it, but the “master” star/wreath always looked commie-ish

    I think it pointy thing looks like an arrowhead/spear-tip
    as well as a hyper-speed craft/weapon

    FWIW, that old space badge design was chosen in a contest. It’s a hybrid of the winner’s design (w/pointy thing) and my second-place design (w/o pointy thing). Don’t remember what the prize was.

  8. Blake
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:54 pm |

    Whenever I think Space Force, for some reason, it sounds like “Spaaaacccce Ghooost!” in my head.

  9. DougM (used to be somebody)
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:02 pm |

    But, yes, the pointy thing was a nod to the Star Trek badge, Kirk‘s Star Trek, forty years ago.

    I like jlw’s idea @4 that Starfleet’s logo is an ancient tradition for space forces that goes back to the AF’s usage ca. 1980

  10. OldFert
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm |

    Did the Space Operations badge replace the Missileman badge?

  11. DougM (used to be somebody)
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:05 pm |

    ^ Dunno, I haven’t kept track,
    and SecAF doesn’t normally ask for my approval.

    Yes, originally, it replaced the pocket rocket for those of us in satellite jobs rather than nuclear-combat ICBM jobs

  12. Fat Baxter
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:30 pm |

    Did the Space Operations badge replace the Missileman badge?

    Yes, for a while. When AFSPACECOM first absorbed the ICBMs, they tried to force everyone to wear the same badge. Some sort of gesture to command solidarity. But the missileers complained vigorously; after all, they earned their badge after certifying as combat-ready in a real, live weapons system, not just because they held a particular AFSC.

    The funny thing was, after the missileers re-won their missile badge, AFSPACECOM also required them to wear the space badge (that solidarity thing again). Two badges for doing one job!

    I don’t know what the rules are now that ICBMs are under AF Global Strike Command.

  13. Paul
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:39 pm |

    Needs a USMC anchor to!!!

  14. jlw
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm |

    Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek. he was enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. in 1942 he graduated as a second lieutenant.

    he flew 89 combat missions in the Pacific Theater and was awarded the DFC and Air Medal.

    One of the keys to “Star Trek’s” success is the fact that almost every aspect of the show is grounded one way or another in real-world concepts. Starfleet, the organization unifying humanity and aliens in the exploration of the galaxy, is one such concept and was undoubtedly influenced by Roddenberry’s time as a pilot during World War II.

    Starfleet’s logo derived from Roddenberry’s past in the US Army Air Corps

  15. DougM (used to be somebody)
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:30 pm |

    jlw ^
    Interesting, but I always saw starships as a Navy-based culture.

  16. jlw
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:02 pm |

    i also saw starships as navy based i.e. Enterprise. however, i always saw Starfleet as descended from the Air Force. the Air Force is descended from the Army Air Corp. let’s not even get into the Space Marines.

    Starfleet is descended from the the US Military, all the branches. IMHO

  17. mech
    Posted January 27, 2020 at 1:31 pm |

    I am constantly dismayed at the abundance of youngsters who think history began with them. No understanding of the history and traditions which came before.

    I worked as a contractor under the Air Force Research Laboratory emblem and have a few related patches as well. There learned a bit more of the history and emblem elements as i offered a design for a new organization years ago.