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'Get a haircut,' real Space Force chief tells Netflix 'Space Force' star Steve Carell

After being sworn in as the first Chief of Space Operations by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Gen. John Raymond addresses the audience in the Executive Eisenhower Office Building, Washington, D.C., on Jan. 14, 2020.
After being sworn in as the first Chief of Space Operations by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Gen. John Raymond addresses the audience in the Executive Eisenhower Office Building, Washington, D.C., on Jan. 14, 2020.
(Image: © U.S. Air Force Photo by Andy Morataya)

The leader of the real U.S. Space Force says he's looking forward to the Netflix show about the new military branch, but he has a note for series star and co-creator Steve Carell.

"The one piece of advice I'd give to Steve Carell is to get a haircut," Gen. Jay Raymond, the U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, said good-naturedly on Wednesday (May 6) during a webinar hosted by the nonprofit Space Foundation. 

"He's looking a little too shaggy if he wants to play the Space Force chief," said Raymond, whose own pate is nearly bereft of hair. 

Related: Steve Carell's 'Space Force' farce will launch on Netflix May 29. See the new trailer.

Raymond added that, when news first leaked out about the series' development, he had been rooting for a follicularly challenged actor to land the lead role.

"I was hoping for Bruce Willis," Raymond said. "But Steve Carell's a great actor, and, I tell you, I love his shows. So, we're looking forward [to the new series]."

Netflix's "Space Force" premieres on May 29. The comedy stars Carell as Gen. Mark R. Naird, the fictional equivalent of Raymond, and also features John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy O. Yang, Jane Lynch, Fred Willard and Noah Emmerich.

While Wednesday's webinar touched briefly on the show, its main focus was the real Space Force. Raymond and Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett discussed the duties and future of the new military branch, which was officially established this past January. (The Space Force is part of the Department of the Air Force, like the Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy.)

The Space Force will help protect American space assets, deter aggression and establish norms of behavior in the final frontier, Raymond and Barrett said. Such work is vitally important now and into the future, they stressed, because space is no longer the benign domain it used to be and the United States' long-held dominance in this realm is under serious threat.

"So many of our systems are not defended and are vulnerable, and so it is important for us to deter aggressive action against American assets," Barrett said. "But if deterrence fails, we need to be prepared to defend and, if necessary, shoot back."

The nation is at a "strategic inflection," Raymond added, noting that the United States is dependent on space assets such as Global Positioning System satellites like never before.

"This is an opportunity to remain the best in the world, to stay ahead of those world threats," he said.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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  • ProtoMolecule
    Class Act response on General Raymond’s part. Too bad the show is being written to tear down and degrade the Space Force. Funny that space dot com is pushing it.
    Reply
  • Lovethrust
    ProtoMolecule said:
    Class Act response on General Raymond’s part. Too bad the show is being written to tear down and degrade the Space Force. Funny that space dot com is pushing it.

    Absolutely but I will give it a chance but it will probably just be a juvenile vehicle to mock this administration. Had the last administration done this it would be a different story...
    Reply
  • Bonzadog
    Asan EUropean I and my friends are very sceptical about the "Space Force". We think the militarisation of Space will lead to yet another arms race in Space. Space should and must be neutral.
    <<Political content removed by moderator>>
    Reply
  • Sammyghhg
    Bonzadog said:
    Asan EUropean I and my friends are very sceptical about the "Space Force". We think the militarisation of Space will lead to yet another arms race in Space. Space should and must be neutral.
    <<Political content removed by moderator>>

    Given that ICBMs regularly enter a suborbital spaceflight, it seems to me that space is already very much militarized as a potential zone of conflict.

    Also, given that China is planning on developing a militarized series of weaponized satellites and a base on the moon, while Russia is also planning weaponized satellites, it is a logical decision to ensure that other nations at a minimum prepare for a potential conflict in space, regardless of the apparent "defensive posture" of China and Russia.

    All in all, any development of infrastructure regardless of its potential to militarize space is a great thing for the future of earth. Logistical and resource needs will eventually necessitate mining of materials from asteroids, comets and even more likely: the moon. All of which will reduce the resource burden for metals on earth (assuming a commercial extraction process which would drop material onto the surface). This could see an end to strip mining and potentially even the processing of ores on earth which create significant environmental harm. It will also take us one step closer to developing a colony on mars and reinforce that colonys sustainable outcomes over time.

    All in all, I see this as a good thing for the world, not just the US.
    Reply
  • Lovethrust
    Sammyghhg said:
    Given that ICBMs regularly enter a suborbital spaceflight, it seems to me that space is already very much militarized as a potential zone of conflict.

    Also, given that China is planning on developing a militarized series of weaponized satellites and a base on the moon, while Russia is also planning weaponized satellites, it is a logical decision to ensure that other nations at a minimum prepare for a potential conflict in space, regardless of the apparent "defensive posture" of China and Russia.

    All in all, any development of infrastructure regardless of its potential to militarize space is a great thing for the future of earth. Logistical and resource needs will eventually necessitate mining of materials from asteroids, comets and even more likely: the moon. All of which will reduce the resource burden for metals on earth (assuming a commercial extraction process which would drop material onto the surface). This could see an end to strip mining and potentially even the processing of ores on earth which create significant environmental harm. It will also take us one step closer to developing a colony on mars and reinforce that colonys sustainable outcomes over time.

    All in all, I see this as a good thing for the world, not just the US.
    Well said!
    Reply