Space Force Expects to Finalize ‘Futuristic’ Uniform by End of Year, General Says

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prototype Space Force dress uniform
Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond unveiled the Guardian Service Dress prototype during the Air Force Association’s Air, Space, and Cyber conference on Sept. 21, 2021. (Twitter)

The Space Force, which unveiled a prototype model of its new service dress uniform last week, plans to lock down the design by the end of this year and start wear-testing soon afterward.

In an online panel discussion Monday as part of Defense One's State of Defense conference, Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond said the service will take the design on the road over the next few months to meet with Guardians at bases and listen to what they think.

While the immediate online reaction after the prototype unveiling Sept. 22 at the Air Force Association's Air Space & Cyber Conference was largely positive -- if riddled with jokes about a certain resemblance to science-fiction uniforms -- it showed that more work remains to be done. 

The uniform pants were panned by multiple commenters as being baggy and shapeless, and in need of more tailoring to match the coat's crisp lines. Raymond did not address the reaction to the pants in Monday's conference, but the military typically considers such feedback as it finalizes new designs.

Based on the input from troops, the Space Force plans to make the final adjustments to the uniform design around the end of the year, Raymond added. It then will produce a limited number of uniforms for wear-testing.

During that phase, participating Guardians will wear the uniform on a day-to-day basis and offer feedback on its comfort, durability and other factors. Eventually, the uniform will go into wide-scale production. 

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The Space Force sought a "futuristic-looking design" while reviewing 150 designs, Raymond said. This marks a break from other branches of the military that like to emphasize tradition -- particularly the Army, which in recent years revived its World War II-era "pinks and greens" service dress uniform.

In an atypical move, the Space Force designed the women's uniform first and only created the male version after getting the female version right. 

"Historically, what we do is we build a uniform for males, and then we tell the females, 'Hey, go fit into this,'" Raymond said. "And it doesn't fit all that well."

Though he did not say when the entire Space Force will get to wear the new uniform, Raymond said he's excited to put it on himself.

"When it comes time, I'll really be honored to wear that uniform, and look forward to doing so," he said.

The Space Force is also in the process of wear-testing its proposed PT uniforms, with somewhere between 100 and 150 Guardians currently trying them out.

-- Stephen Losey can be reached at stephen.losey@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StephenLosey.

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