The United States Space Force (USSF) is the space operations service branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. It is the sixth branch of the U.S. military, and the first new armed service since the establishment of the independent U.S. Air Force in 1947.
It is organized as a military service branch within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense. The Space Force, through the Department of the Air Force, is headed by the Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, and is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation. The most senior Space Force officer is the Chief of Space Operations, unless a Space Force officer also serves as either the chairman or vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Chief of Space Operations exercises supervision over the Space Force's units and serve as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Certain Space Force components will be assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force, to unified combatant commands. Combatant commanders will be delegated operational authority of the forces assigned to them, while the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Space Operations will retain administrative authority over their members.