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Anchorage MEPS recruits Alaska’s first U.S. Space Force member

U.S. Space Force Specialist Ethan Groves, a native of Alaska, graduated U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, June 24, 2021. Groves is Alaska’s first U.S. Space Force Guardian recruit, with the U.S. Space Force being a growing enterprise that organizes, trains and equips Space Forces to protect national security interests in the space domain.  (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

U.S. Space Force Specialist Ethan Groves, a native of Alaska, graduated U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, June 24, 2021. Groves is Alaska’s first U.S. Space Force Guardian recruit, with the U.S. Space Force being a growing enterprise that organizes, trains and equips Space Forces to protect national security interests in the space domain. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

U.S. Army Capt. Jesse Ferguson, Anchorage Military Entrance Processing Station operations officer, swore in Ethan Groves as Alaska’s first recruited U.S. Space Force Guardian May 3, placing the recruit on a direct path to Basic Military Training and marking another milestone in the new service’s growth and development.

“Anchorage MEPS is proud to process Ethan Groves as Alaska’s first recruited United States Space Force Guardian,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Monique Pullin, Anchorage MEPS commander. “It’s exciting to be part of a new chapter in the Department of Defense, and we wish him the best on his journey. Here at Anchorage MEPS, we have and always will continue to strive in supporting the mission here at ‘Freedom’s Front Door.’”

The USSF was founded Dec. 20, 2019, and has been a growing enterprise that organizes, trains and equips Space Forces to protect national security interests in the space domain.

“Our biggest task is to ensure when Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines need space, when they need GPS, when they need communications, those space-based capabilities are always available… always above,” said U.S. Space Force Gen. John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations.

The Space Force is the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and is technology-driven to train the newest Guardians to execute operations with unprecedented speed, agility and boldness. Their talent and energy will lead to innovative solutions for the future and will save lives across the globe. The USSF Guardians work every day to keep the space domain safe and accessible in order to ensure the military and the American people never have to experience a day without space.

Groves, a Palmer, Alaska, native, graduated from BMT June 24, after seven and a half weeks of training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. The training capitalized on the existing foundation of Air Force BMT and incorporated space-specific curriculum to enhance the U.S. Space Force experience.

After months of planning and preparation to establish policies, procedures and doctrine, the induction of this Guardian, as well as many across the nation, is evidence that the force is proceeding forward as expected. These events in Alaska show a real-world example of the Space Force’s consistent development.

By the end of Fiscal Year 2021, the Space Force is expected to have approximately 6,500 active-duty members. The USSF attained its goal to have approximately 2,500 members in space operations career fields by the end of calendar year 2020. It started transferring active-duty senior enlisted Airmen in cyber, intelligence, acquisitions and engineering career fields Dec. 1, 2020, both officer and other enlisted members. The size of the force is expected to grow consistently over time until it reaches the 6,500 goal.

Individuals interested in pursuing opportunities in the U.S. Air Force or Space Force can visit https://www.airforce.com/ to find a local recruiter or call (907) 290-9515 to set up an appointment today.