Vice President Mike Pence announces new name for Space Force members: ‘Guardians’

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman (R), Space Force and Command Senior Enlisted Leader and CMSgt Roger Towberman (L), with Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett present US President Donald Trump with the official flag of

At an event commemorating the first anniversary of the creation of the United States Space Force, Vice President Mike Pence announced the official new name of the military branch’s members: Guardians. 

"It is my honor on behalf of the president of the United States to announce that henceforth the men and women of the United States Space Force will be known as ‘Guardians,’" Pence said during the ceremony.

"Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and ‘Guardians’ will be defending our nation for generations to come," Pence said

Pence spoke alongside Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett.

"The opportunity to name a force is a momentous responsibility," the Twitter account for the Space Force wrote. "Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, ‘Guardians of the High Frontier.’"

The Space Force, which was officially established in December of last year, is the first new military service since the U.S. Air Force was established in 1947. The 16,000 airmen and civilians that make up the Space Force technically remain part of the Air Force, which previously oversaw offensive operations in space. The force, pushed by President Donald Trump, represents the sixth branch of the U.S. military 

In September, the Associated Press reported that the Space Force has a squadron of 20 airmen stationed at Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base in its first foreign deployment. 

FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this story.