Lost In Space: The History of the U.S. Army Space Cadre


Space: the final frontier; the fourth dimension of multi-domain operations and the proverbial "ultimate high ground" upon which the future of warfare will be fought. The United States Army is the largest user of space-based capabilities across the Armed Services of the Department of Defense. Across all three components of the U.S. Army, over a million soldiers and Army civilians depend on space-based capabilities that serve as force multipliers in the conduct of unified land operations. None delivers such capabilities other than the elusive space operations force structure of the U.S. Army: its Space Cadre. The U.S. Army Space Cadre - military and civilian space professionals, astronauts, and enablers - serve the critical role of operating and delivering space-based capabilities among the six warfighting functions of the U.S. Army. In this history essay, the U.S. Army Space Cadre soldier-civilian force structure will be defined according to U.S. Army doctrine and the Warfighting Functions, the elusive and confusing existence of the U.S. Army Space Cadre will be thoroughly contextualized from pre-formation to formation, and future implications will be made regarding U.S. Army space operations and the future of its Cadre.

Defining Battlespace: Who Are the U.S. Army Space Cadre?

Founded in 2001, the U.S. Army Space Cadre is an elusive force structure that consists of soldiers and civilians operating within the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT), U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and across the U.S. Army Joint Functional Areas. This force structure is responsible for the daily execution of planning, operation, procurement, and force integration of space-based capabilities to fulfill the four space operations mission areas across all U.S. Combatant Commands: (1) Space Support, (2) Space Enhancement, (3) Space Control, and (4) Space Application. Additionally, members of the U.S. Army Space Cadre are directly responsible over the operation and maintenance of early-to-late stage missile warning and operating continental missile defense systems, which is key to the U.S. defense tradition of nuclear deterrence.

The force structure consists of three categories of soldier and civilian experts: (1) space professionals, (2) astronauts, and (3) enablers, which are defined below: Space Professionals: Functional Area 40A (FA40A) Space Operations Officers [and their civilian counterparts]. These are career space specialists and the core of U.S. Army space operations, whose principal duties include planning, developing, resourcing, acquiring, integrating, and operating space forces, concepts, applications, and capabilities.Army Astronauts: Functional Area 40C (FA40C) U.S. Army Astronauts [and their civilian counterparts]. These are career space specialists who are selected and detailed to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to crew spacecraft and conduct manned space operations within USSPACECOM (100km " sea level").Space Enablers: Personnel assigned to positions across the Joint Functional Areas such as air defense, signal

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