The U.S. Government Doesn’t Want You to See the Unused Space Force Logos | Space

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As Sunshine Week 2024 draws to a close, the Air Force has marked the occasion by hiding the draft designs of logos and uniforms for the Space Force.

Reason filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Air Force in January 2020 for drafts or alternate designs for the logo of the nascent Space Force, one of the Trump administration’s more expensive and whimsical farces.

A quick four years later, the Air Force released 122 pages of communications between the public servants who designed the uniforms, logo, and seal for Star Fleet—excuse me, Space Force.

Unfortunately for everyone who was looking forward to seeing Project Runway: Department of Defense Edition, the Air Force redacted all images of the draft versions, citing Exemption (b)(5) of the FOIA.

Exemption (b)(5) is also known as the “deliberative process” exemption. It protects discussions between bureaucrats about policy decisions, under the reasoning that bureaucrats wouldn’t be as frank if everything they said got dragged into the public eye (by annoying reporters like myself). 

Congress amended the FOIA in 2016 to state that agencies should operate with a “presumption of openness” and only withhold documents when there is a “foreseeable harm,” not out of fear of embarrassment. Despite that, federal agencies still regularly abuse exemptions, especially (b)(5). In this case, the Air Force seems to be claiming that its staff would be afraid to design uniforms if their mock-ups were public. Sorry, but fashion’s a tough business.

All is not lost, though. Some tidbits slipped by the censors.

For example, the communications include a scene of senior military officials scrambling to alter the uniform of Gen. John W. Raymond, the first chief of space operations, after President Donald Trump chose blue thread stitch for Space Force’s new uniforms.

“Not sure if Gen. Raymond already reached out to you, but he wanted to see the possibility of getting his uniform turned to the blue…

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