- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond was sworn in Tuesday as the first chief of space operations for the newly established U.S. Space Force, putting the service on equal footing with other branches of the military and giving it an influential seat at the Joint Chiefs of Staff table.

In a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Gen. Raymond. The event marked a major step forward for the Space Force, which has been one of President Trump’s top military priorities and an effort that represents a redoubling of the Pentagon’s efforts to continue American dominance in space.

“This establishment is absolutely critical to our national security,” Gen. Raymond said during brief remarks after being sworn in. “We have our marching orders and we are moving out.”

“We will build this new service in a way that strengthens our joint force and allows us to move with the speed and agility needed to respond to the current strategic environment,” he said.

The Space Force was officially funded last month when Mr. Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act. The sweeping defense spending bill formally authorized the Space Force as the first new branch of the military since the Air Force was created more than 70 years ago.

Mr. Pence said there was little debate about who should lead the branch during its crucial formative years.

“The first decision the president made after establishing the Space Force was deciding who should be its first leader,” the vice president said. “He knew right away there was no one more qualified or prepared from a lifetime of service than Gen. Jay Raymond.”

With more than three decades of military service, Gen. Raymond brings a unique resume to the job. Prior to his appointment Thursday, he served as commander of Air Force Space Command, commander of U.S. Space Command, and held a host of other top jobs in the military.

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