Standing Up Space Force

The Road to the Nation's Sixth Armed Service

  • Subject: Fall 2023 Catalog | Aviation & Space
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Illustrations:
    24 b/w photos
  • Published:
    December 15, 2023
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    9 × 6 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    19 oz
Hardcover $39.95
Member Price $23.97 Save 40%
Book: Cover Type


Although the United States won the race to the moon, the Soviets were far more active in space than Americans during the decade that followed. By the 1980s, some space experts feared the United States was in danger of being surpassed in space, including dual-use systems that might be employed offensively in a military confrontation. A few experts, looking ahead, recommended a space force within roughly two decades.
Standing up Space Force is organized chronologically by presidential administration, beginning in the middle of the Clinton years and progressing through the Trump administration. During the Clinton and George W. Bush years, the move to national security space was incremental. The Obama presidency witnessed the rise of NewSpace entrepreneurs whose impressive space activities facilitated their initial partnering with  U.S. government National Security Space (NSS) missions helping the United States keep pace with China and Russia.
During the Trump administration, all necessary elements finally came together – most significantly, presidential-congressional leadership and bipartisan support – to eventually produce the fiscal 2020 national defense authorization act (NDAA). Because the NDAA authorized and provided for the Space Force, when the President signed the defense bill on 20 December 2019, at the same moment he officially established the nation’s sixth armed service.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"Dr. Marion takes readers through a fascinating story of national security space spanning multiple administrations, and an unlikely sequence of events that should go down in history as one of the greatest strategic moves to position the United States military to address the emerging threats of the future."—Stephen Kitay, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space and Policy and former Professional Staff Member, House Armed Services Committee
“Most Americans use space hundreds of times a day without ever knowing it. For the first time, in Standing Up Space Force, Forrest Marion reveals why the creation of the U.S. Space Force won bipartisan support from Congress and the Trump Administration. Marion exposes the challenges and triumphs of a military service charged with the duty to protect national security interests.”—Barbara Barrett, U.S. Secretary of the Air Force (2019-2021) and U.S. Ambassador to Finland (2008-2009).
"An inside story of how the stars aligned for the creation of America's newest armed service. The creation of the U.S. Space Force was a team effort spanning decades, reflecting the growing importance of space as well as the urgency created by new threats. Forrest Marion describes the bureaucratic struggles and bipartisan political leadership that translated vision into reality. Must reading for anyone interested in the role of space in national security."—Dr. Scott Pace, Former Executive Secretary, National Space Council (2017-2020)
"A former Air Force historian, Marion bravely examines the founding of the Space Force, a major defeat for the Air Force. Nothing could stop a bipartisan Congress and President Trump from liberating space operators from domination by pilots. Marion tells an important story that needs to be read by everyone. The Space Force, despite being only 10% of the size of the Marine Corps, guards America’s and the West’s most precious assets, our satellites."—Former U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee
"Meticulously researched and creatively written."—The American Spectator