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Former Air Force Master Space and Missile Badge

The new Air Force & Army "Space Badges"
Top to Bottom: Basic, Senior, & Master (USA) or Command (USAF)

The Air Force Space and Missile Badge (AFSMB) was a military badge of the United States Air Force which was awarded to those personnel who completed training in space warning, satellite command and control, missile operations, space surveillance, or space lift. It initially replaced the Missile Badge when the space and missile operations fields were merged. However, the Missile Badge was reinstated in 2009.[1][2]

The U.S. Air Force is the most restrictive service with regards to which Air Force badges may be worn by other United States Armed Forces. The first Air Force badge awarded to other military services was the Air Force Space and Missile Badge which was awarded to U.S. Army officers who graduate from the functional area (FA) 40A (Army Space Operations Officer) course.[3][4]

The Air Force Space and Missile Badge was presented in three grades being that of basic, senior, and command. The basic badge was awarded for completion of initial space training while the senior and master badges were awarded based on years of service in Air Force Space assignments; for officer the steps occur at seven and fifteen years respectively. For enlisted personnel the senior badge was awarded upon attaining a "7 skill level" and the master badge as a Master Sergeant or above with five years in the specialty from award of the senior badge. The grades of the Air Force Space and Missile badge were denoted by a star (senior) and wreath (command) centered above the decoration.[2]

In 2004, the U.S. Air Force Space Command Commander, General Lance Lord, announced the introduction of the new Air Force Space Badge (AFSB), which replaced the Air Force Space and Missile Badge. The new badge is also awarded to U.S. Air Force scientists, engineers, communications, Intelligence, and acquisition professionals who have performed space/missile operations, intelligence, and acquisition duties and have successfully completed the Space 100 course. Currently, Missileers are no longer attending the Space 100 course; thus, they are no longer being awarded the Air Force Space Badge.[2][5][6]

In 2006, the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force authorized the awarding of the Air Force Space Badge to Army personnel who meet specific guidelines for training and time in a space billet. On 19 October 2006, SGT Daniel Holscher, a satellite control operations noncommissioned officer with U.S. Army Central Space Support Element, was the first enlisted soldier to earn the Air Force Space Badge.[7]

In February 2011, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army officially approved the establishment of the Air Force Space Badge as a joint Air Force and Army badge; thus, the words “Air Force” were dropped from the official name of the badge. U.S. Army personnel can be awarded the Space Badge after attending Air Force or Army space or satellite systems courses and have 12 months (for Active Army) or 24 months (for Army Reserve and Army National Guard) experience in a space billet. The new badge is also awarded to graduates of the FA-40A, Army Space Operations Officer course, replacing the Air Force Space and Missile Badge. From 2006 through April 2011, 1,425 Space Badges have been awarded to Army personnel.[4][8]

The badge is informally referred to as "space wings" due to the resemblance to other aeronautical rating badges or "wings." [9][10]

See also


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