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Chief of Space Operations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chief of Space Operations
Space Staff identification badge
CSO flag
General B. Chance Saltzman
since 2 November 2022
United States Space Force
Space Staff
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff
Space Staff
Reports toSecretary of Defense
Secretary of the Air Force
ResidenceSpace House, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.[1]
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length4 years
Renewable one time, only during war or national emergency
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 9082
Formation20 December 2019
First holderJohn W. Raymond
DeputyVice Chief of Space Operations

The chief of space operations (CSO) is the service chief of the United States Space Force. The CSO is the principal military adviser to the secretary of the Air Force for Space Force operations and, as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a military adviser to the National Security Council, the secretary of defense, and the president. The CSO is a statutory office held by a Space Force general, who is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the Space Force.[a]

The CSO 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.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • General B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force at GASCC 2023
  • New Chief of Space Operations for the US Space Force Visits Georgia Tech
  • Vice Chief of Space Operations visits SSC
  • GASCC22 - Keynote 3 with General John W “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, US Space Force
  • GASCC23 - Keynote with General B Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, US Space Force


Appointment, rank, and responsibilities


The chief of space operations is nominated for appointment by the president, for a four-year term of office, and must be confirmed by the Senate. The chief can be reappointed to serve one additional term, but only during times of war or national emergency declared by Congress. By statute, the chief is appointed as a four-star general.[2]


Space House, the residence of the chief of space operations, at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

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 Space Staff, 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.[3]

Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

The chief of space operations became 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.[3]


U.S. Vice President Pence swearing in Raymond as the Space Force's inaugural CSO.

The post of chief of space operations was created on 20 December 2019, along with the United States Space Force, with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. 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.[4] On 14 January 2020, Raymond was sworn in as the first chief of space operations by Vice President Mike Pence.[5]

On 20 December 2020, the CSO officially became the 8th member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Raymond was inducted to the body in a ceremony on 11 December 2020.[6]

Space Staff

The Office of the Chief of Space Operations, or more commonly referred to as the Space Staff, is the headquarters for the Space Force. It is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping of the Space Force cooperating with the Air Staff on support issues. It is headed by the chief of space operations and the vice chief of space operations, both four-star generals, and the chief master sergeant of the Space Force. There is also a director of staff who oversees the staff action group, protocol, information technology and administration, resources, and total force integration groups.[7] The chief of space operations also has four deputy chiefs of space operations.

The CSO personal office is composed of the following:[8][9]

List of chiefs of space operations

Raymond (center) transferred responsibility to Saltzman (right) in 2022 in the Space Force's first change of responsibility ceremony.
No. Portrait Name Term Secretaries served under: Ref.
Took office Left office Duration Air Force Defense
John W. Raymond
(born 1962)
20 December 20192 November 20222 years, 317 daysBarbara Barrett
Frank Kendall III
Mark Esper
Lloyd Austin
B. Chance Saltzman
(born 1969)
2 November 2022Incumbent1 year, 122 daysFrank Kendall IIILloyd Austin[13]


B. Chance SaltzmanJohn W. Raymond

Heritage portraits

Former chiefs of space operations have portraits on permanent display in the Pentagon.[14]

See also



  1. ^ Unless the chairman or vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a Space Force officer.


  1. ^ Dietrich, Eric (12 December 2020). "CSO Holiday Event [Image 2 of 17]". Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Archived from the original on 26 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  2. ^ "10 U.S. Code § 9082 - Chief of Space Operations". LII / Legal Information Institute. Archived from the original on 27 July 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. SPACE FORCE FACT SHEET". Official United States Space Force Website. United States Space Force. 20 December 2019. Archived from the original on 16 January 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  4. ^ Ryan Browne (20 December 2019). "With a signature, Trump brings Space Force into being". CNN. Archived from the original on 8 October 2021. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  5. ^ "New Space Force uniforms are camo, but why?". CNN\Gray News. 18 January 2020. Archived from the original on 19 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Space Force Leader to Become 8th Member of Joint Chiefs". U.S. Department of Defense.
  7. ^ "SKM_C3851FS20020412000" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  8. ^[bare URL PDF]
  9. ^[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ "New USSF T&E Director visits AFOTEC". 25 January 2022.
  11. ^[bare URL]
  12. ^ "General John W. "Jay" Raymond". United States Space Force. April 2022. Archived from the original on 29 September 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  13. ^ "General B. Chance Saltzman". United States Space Force. November 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2022.[permanent dead link]Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  14. ^ "Secretary of the Air Force unveils historic first CSO portrait". United States Space Force. 27 July 2023.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
This page was last edited on 3 March 2024, at 11:17
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