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There were more than 8,500 airmen who volunteered to join the Space Force in May, Stars and Stripes reported on Tuesday.
It was the first month that applications to transfer to the military’s newest branch were accepted, and those seeking to do so were from a mix of officers and enlisted airmen from within 13 career fields. Some 6,000 will be chosen for transfer.
“I am incredibly proud of the men and women who made the bold decision to volunteer to join the U.S. Space Force and defend the ultimate high ground,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations.
Those accepted into the branch will be notified in July, with airmen already in space-related jobs transferring first, beginning in September.
In February, more general career fields will also start the process of transferring.
There are some 16,000 personnel from the former U.S. Air Force Space Command currently assigned to the Space Force, with the process underway now of officially commissioning or enlisting military members into the force.
The Space Force was officially created in December, when President Donald Trump signed the annual defense policy bill after bipartisan members of the House first proposed creating the sixth branch of the military in 2017, according to The Hill.
The purpose of the Space Force is to defend American assets in space from threats emanating from other nations, such as Russia and China.
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