Space Force Unveils Official Motto: Semper Supra

Underscoring its goal of supremacy in what is sometimes called the ultimate high ground, the Space Force has unveiled its official motto: Semper Supra, or Always Above.

The announcement on July 22 was accompanied by the official unveiling of the force’s logo, along with an explanation about the design.

“The logo and motto honor the heritage and history of the U.S. Space Force,” said the Space Force in a statement. “First used in 1961, the delta symbol honors the heritage of the USAF and Space Command.”

The star in the center of the design represents Polaris, symbolizing the guiding light.

An annotated version of the new Space Force logo, explaining the design choices. (Space Force)

The official seal of the Space Force, which also uses the delta symbol, was first introduced earlier this year.

While some suggested the seal was a “Star Trek” rip-off, the Space Force pointed out that the delta symbol was first used back in the 1940s by the Air Force, before being adopted for space in 1961—before the first episode of “Star Trek” was screened.

The Space Force was officially established last year,  joining the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps as a distinct fighting force—the first time a new military service has been created for more than 60 years.

The creation of the force pulls together space defense under one organizational umbrella, as the United States picks up the pace in what is essentially a new space race with Russia and China.

Seal for the newly-created Space Force. (Space Force)

For now, space warfare might be crudely understood as predominantly satellite warfare. That is, the protection, weaponization, and neutralization of the all-seeing, all-knowing information architecture that holds up the military and modern society.

The Space Force laid out its goals in the Defense Space Strategy published last month.

“China and Russia each have weaponized space as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness and challenge our freedom of operation in space,” according to the unclassified version of the Space Strategy document, published on June 17 (pdf). The document lays out the structure that is needed to achieve a “comprehensive military advantage” in space within 10 years.

Three key objectives are identified for the Space Force: to maintain America’s space superiority; to provide space support to all joint military operations; and to “ensure space stability”—or to deter aggression and uphold international agreements in space with a persistent presence, similar to how the Navy polices international waters.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from the Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2017.
(Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The force’s Latin motto, Semper Supra, echoes those of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Semper Fidelis—Always Faithful—is the Marines’ motto. The Coast Guard’s motto is Semper Paratus—Always Ready.

“Not self but country” is often cited as the Navy’s motto, however according to the Navy’s history website, it is not officially recognized.

The Air Force adopted the motto of  “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win” in 2010. The Army’s motto is “This We’ll Defend.”

The numerous units of the U.S. military also each have their own mottos. However, the military as a whole does not appear to have a single official motto.

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