“At a one-year anniversary event for the Space Force, Vice President Mike Pence introduced the “guardian” moniker, which earlier referred to its members with the comparatively staid and interim-seeming term “space professionals.
The Space Force said it received hundreds of suggestions in a press release before eventually deciding on “guardians,” casting the name as a reference to the predecessor of the division, Air Force Space Command, which used the slogan “High Frontier Guardians.”
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come,” Pence said Friday.
The Space Force said the word “guardian” has a “long history of space operations,” but it also bears an undeniable similarity to the franchise of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, some observers were eager to point out a perhaps accidental coincidence.
This is not the first time the rollout of the Space Force has drawn comparisons with pop culture focused on aliens. The emblem of the division, unveiled earlier this year, appears uncannily similar to the insignia of Starfleet, Star Trek’s military branch.
The idea of the Space Force, the sixth military branch based on outer space, was floated by President Donald Trump two years ago. Initially, the proposal received mixed reviews: some critics saw it as a relatively unnecessary organ whose tasks are already performed by the Air Force, while others argued that it might be beneficial to have a service branch dedicated to defending U.S. satellites and other commercial and military interests in space.