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Chief of Space Operations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chief of Space Operations
General John W. Raymond

since 20 December 2019
United States Space Force
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff
Reports toSecretary of the Air Force
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length4 years, renewable
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 9082[1]
PrecursorCommander, Air Force Space Command
Formation20 December 2019
First holderJohn W. Raymond

The Chief of Space Operations (CSO) is a statutory office held by a general in the United States Space Force, and is the principal military adviser to the United States Secretary of the Air Force for Space Force operations; and is in a separate capacity a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thereby a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. The Chief of Space Operations is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the Space Force unless the Chairman or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Space Force officers.

The Chief of Space Operations is an administrative position based in the Pentagon, and while they do not have operational command authority over Space Force forces, the Chief of Space Operations does exercise supervision of Space Force units and organizations as the designee of the Secretary of the Air Force.


The post of Chief of Space Operations was created, along with the United States Space Force, on 20 December 2019. General John W. Raymond, the commander of US Space Command and Air Force Space Command, was announced as the first chief of space operations on that same day.[2] On 14 January 2020, Raymond was sworn in as the first Chief of Space Operations by Vice President Mike Pence.[3]


Department of the Air Force

Under the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Space Operations presides over the Office of the Chief of Space Operations, acts as the Secretary's executive agent in carrying out approved plans, and exercises supervision over organizations and members of the Space Force as determined by the Secretary. The Chief of Space Operations may also perform other duties as assigned by either the President, the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of the Air Force.[4]

Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Chief of Space Operations will become a statutory member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 20 December 2020. When performing duties as a member of the Joint Chiefs, the Chief of Space Operations is responsible directly to the Secretary of Defense. Like the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CSO is an administrative position, with no operational command authority over Space Force forces.[4]

Office of the Chief of Space Operations

The Office of the Chief of Space Operations (OCSO) is the headquarters for the Space Force, having initially been allotted 160 billets. It will assume organize, train, and equip responsibilities for the Space Force in FY 2021, cooperating with the Air Staff on support issues.


It is comprised of the Chief of Space Operations, a Vice Chief of Space Operations, who possesses the grade of general, and the Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Space Force.

The Director of Staff is a lieutenant general who overseas the staff action group, protocol, information technology and administration, resources, and total force integration groups.

The Office of the Chief of Space Operations is split into three directorates:

Chiefs of Space Operations

No. Portrait Name Term Secretaries served under:
Took office Left office Duration Air Force Defense
John W. Raymond
20 December 2019Incumbent188 daysBarbara Barrett[2]Mark Esper


  1. ^ S. 254. 116th US Congress. p. 366. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b CNN, Ryan Browne (20 December 2019). "With a signature, Trump brings Space Force into being". CNN. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  3. ^ "New Space Force uniforms are camo, but why?". CNN\Gray News. 18 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. SPACE FORCE FACT SHEET". Official United States Space Force Website. United States Space Force. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  5. ^ "SKM_C3851FS20020412000" (PDF). Retrieved 13 March 2020.
This page was last edited on 12 June 2020, at 06:12
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