For U.S. Space Force Ranks, William Shatner Endorses ‘Starfleet Amendment’

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    America’s House of Representatives proposed a new structure for the U.S. Space Force in what’s being called “the Starfleet amendment”. Space News reports: Before the House passed the so-called “Starfleet” amendment, Space Force officials had been internally debating a new rank structure to set the space branch apart from its parent service the U.S. Air Force. The amendment in the House version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Space Force to use the Navy’s rank structure. The proposal will be debated later this year in a House and Senate conference. The Senate would have to support the amendment for it to become law. The amendment was introduced by a former Navy SEAL (now a Republican congressman from Texas), the article reports. But more importantly, the amendment “got a prominent endorsement from the Starfleet captain himself, William Shatner.” In a special editorial in Military Times, Shatner wrote: It’s been captains throughout entertainment history that have gone into space and been the heroes that saved the day, the planet, the galaxy and the universe. Where in any of this rich history of inspired heroes travelling into space was there a…colonel…? “Star Trek” has borrowed so much of its iconic rank symbols from the U.S. military and NASA. When you unveiled the Space Force logo, many immediately saw it as an homage to “Star Trek” (even though our Delta was an homage to the previous military space insignias). Why not borrow back from “Star Trek” and adopt our ranks as well? We took them from the Navy for good reason, even though Gene Roddenberry was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps. They made better sense when talking about a (space) ship. So wrapping this up, I’m going to say that if you want the public to believe in heroes, that you should adopt the Navy ranks as they are the ones the public is most used to being heroes. So please reconsider and name the Space Force ranks after the U.S. Navy. Space News reports that officials from Space Force “declined to comment on Shatner’s article, or on whether his views might carry any weight with lawmakers.” But the site’s source said there’s polarized feelings inside real-world Space Force about the Starfleet amendment. “Some view the prospect of using naval ranks as an insult that would permanently turn the service into a Star Trek punchline.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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