The Navy Space Cadre is a distinct cross-functional community of professionals whose core space competencies uniquely position them to manage space resources while concurrently protecting Navy space equities. The space cadre workforce is comprised of active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel from all designators who possess significant and substantive space-oriented educations and/or experience. Their robust body of expertise is leveraged across the complete lifecycle of activities that support and enable the full spectrum of Navy and joint military operations. As a crtical component of the Navy's Information Dominance Corps (IDC), the Space Cadre's technical proficiency enables it to fill vital roles within the IDC architecture that enhance warfighting capabilities. While they are critically aligned to Navy and DoD-wide initiatives to operationlize space, the Space Cadre are equally essiential to the Navy's efforts to evaluate space capabilities, set priorities, and support acquisitions.
Membership in the Space Cadre is denoted by the VS5 - VS8 (space operations) series Additional Qualification Designators (AQDs) or the VR1 - VR3 AQDs (space acquisition). To obtain the Basic Level VS5 AQD, an officer must complete both the Space PQS, and a minimum tour of 12 months in a space-related billet. VS6 - VS8 AQDs require the completion of the Space PQS, Space 200/300 courses and longer tours in space-related billets. VR1 - VR3 AQDs require DAIWA certification (levels 1,2,3 respectively) in lieu of the Space 200/300 courses.
Of note, subspecialty codes 5500/6206 and the previous AQDs VS1 - VS4 no longer denote Space Cadre membership; however, they do account for significant space-based education or experience.
Space education and training is provided by the Naval Postgraduate School, the Air Force Institue of Technology, and the National Security Space Institute.
Space-related billets include tours at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), Navy Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other afloat and ashore billets.
If you are interested in becoming a Naval Astronaut please refer to the NPC Astronaut Candidate page.
Visit the Space Cadre page on Navy Knowledge Online for additional information on the application process, training opportunities, PQS, availability of billets, points of contact, and other news.