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The U.S. Space Force is looking for a few good names.

Well, just one name, ultimately, for the collective body of men and women who will wear the colors of the nation’s sixth military branch. Those colors, announced last month, turn out to be the same down-to-Earth occupational camouflage patterns of tan, brown, dark brown and olive now worn by their counterparts in the Army and Air Force. They are expected to change to something a bit more celestial when Space Force units are actually deployed into the wild, black yonder in years to come.

Although the concept of the Space Force has been around for more than a year, it was only in late December that enacting legislation creating the new military branch took effect. So now Space Force planners are scrambling to gather a pool of acceptable names to choose from within the next few months to identify the best possible word for a counterpart to soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

The names must be gender neutral, future oriented and distinctive, without violating copyrights, infringing on trademarks, or tapping into other intellectual property rights. They should also be in good taste, which is likely why the likes of me are left out of the naming process — now the exclusive domain of active duty military personnel.

The fact the Space Force is using the internet to elicit potential names for its warriors could be problematic, since bad taste and humor are not the exclusive domain of civilians.

But with a panel of judges charged with making the final cut, the name selection won’t be based on popularity alone, heading off the possibility of another “Boaty McBoatface” debacle as experienced four years ago in the UK, when crowdsourcing was used to name a new $287 million polar research ship.

I think it’s likely the Space Force’s founding father, President Donald Trump, would veto the idea of naming the new military branch “Spacey McSpace Force,” and though I don’t say this often, he would be right.

On the other hand, a name for Space Force combatants made in his honor, say Trumpeteers, could fly.

So far, the Space Force has mentioned guardians, sentinels and troopers as possible names for those serving in the new military branch. Though my ideas on a name for USSF personnel aren’t being sought, the following are offered to give the official name-choosers a taste of what they missed — and it doesn’t taste like Tang.

Here are my picks:

  • Final Frontiersmen. Wait! that’s gender specific. How about Final Frontierists?
  • Milky wayfarers
  • Alienators
  • Skyakers
  • Spatial forces
  • Shooting stars
  • Moon shooters
  • Galactic infantry, or GIs, for short

Reach Rick Steelhammer at

rsteelhammer@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5169 or follow

@rsteelhammer on Twitter.