At a recent swearing-in ceremony of Major General DeAnna Burt as Space Force’s Combined Force Space Component Command commander, was joined by a group of Star Wars characters. However, the characters all represented members of the Intergalactic Empire, such as Imperial Stormtroopers, an Imperial Guard, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader.
Considering that most see the Empire as the bad guys, and the Rebel Alliance as the freedom fighters in the fictional space trilogy, the imagery was a bit confusing.
Understandably though, like the evil Nazi soldiers of World War Two, the Empire does have nicer, and more recognizable uniforms. The Rebel Alliance, like perhaps the French Resistance, are a pretty rag-tag group.
To explain the situation, reported Task & Purpose, U.S. Space Force spokesman Mike Pierson noted that the Star Wars reenactors were volunteers from the local community who were helping to celebrate International Space Day at the Combined Space Operations Center.
“The short ceremony where Maj. Gen. Burt was sworn into the Space Force was added to the end of the Space Day celebration,” Pierson said. “The costumed volunteers were not part of the swearing-in ceremony.”
Still, notes Task & Purpose, “it’s not every day that Boba Fett and Darth Vader end up in an official Defense Department photo showing a general officer joining the military branch in charge of space.”
Meanwhile, a March 2019 Army press release showed U.S. soldiers at a base in East Africa with the Rebel Alliance flag flying in the breeze. (That was before the Pentagon made a list of which flags can be displayed on military installations). So, at least some of our troops back the Alliance.
Task & Purpose also provided this snippet from a reporter’s exchange with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby:
Q: Thank you. An Air Force two-star general was sworn in to the Space Force with Imperial Stormtroopers at the ceremony. Does the Defense Department endorse the values of the Intergalactic Empire?
KIRBY: You’re killing me, Smalls.
ANOTHER LONG PAUSE.
Q: Well, I mean, is the Empire really the right image you want to go with the Space Force?
KIRBY: Ah, Jeff: We support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.
So, it appears the Pentagon is on the side of the Rebel Alliance, but Space Force likes the Empire’s uniforms. And overall, everyone prefers to maintain strategic ambiguity. Much like our CCP China vs Taiwan Policy. ADN