This article was written by doctoral candidate Matthew Jenkins for The Space Review.
In the early days of airpower, foresighted theorists like Billy Mitchell petitioned hard to demonstrate the value that airpower could bring to the warfighting abilities of the United States. Ardently campaigning, Mitchell got permission from Congress to illustrate this capability when in July 1921, his airmen sank the captured German ship Ostfriesland. It was, without question, a defining moment in the infancy of airpower that would pave the way for the eventual creation of an independent Air Force.
Fast forward to the nascent Space Force, and it feels like the newest military service is lost somewhere between trying to do what the Air Force Space Command always did—and did well, mind you—and trying to chart its unique path with new uniforms and a song. It is no wonder Congress is confused and annoyed.