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USSF’s Space Operator Field Grade Officer Of Year
by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Charles Rivezzo
Space Training and Readiness Command
June 23, 2023

U.S. Space Force Maj. Marcus "Bishop" Fairchild, the 328th Weapons Squadron Chief of Space Integration and U.S. Air Force Weapons School (USAFWS) Instructor in Space Superiority, was named the USSF’s Space Operator of the Year in the Field Grade Officer category.

U.S. Space Force Maj. Marcus "Bishop" Fairchild, the 328th Weapons Squadron Chief of Space Integration and U.S. Air Force Weapons School Instructor in Space Superiority, was named the USSF’s Space Operator of the Year in the Field Grade Officer category on June 8, 2023. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Space Force courtesy photo from Maj. Marcus Fairchild.)
U.S. Space Force Maj. Marcus "Bishop" Fairchild, the 328th Weapons Squadron Chief of Space Integration and U.S. Air Force Weapons School Instructor in Space Superiority, was named the USSF’s Space Operator of the Year in the Field Grade Officer category on June 8, 2023. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Space Force courtesy photo from Maj. Marcus Fairchild.)

This accolade recognizes his contributions to the integration of space capabilities into joint force operations, as well as his role as an instructor at the USAFWS.

“I am truly honored and humbled by the recognition,” said Fairchild. “I am surrounded by amazing Guardians who guide, assist, and mentor me every day and I am thankful to all those I’ve served with for their support throughout my career.”

Fairchild's primary duties involve integrating space capabilities into the capstone exercise for each Weapons School class, known as Weapons School Integration. This exercise is a series of complex, large-force employment missions, in line with the National Defense Strategy, involving the planning and execution of every aspect of air, space, and cyber operations with the joint force.

“As an instructor, we empower the Weapons School students to lead all aspects of mission planning and execution and help guide them to a safe execution,” Fairchild said. “Each mission requires a different set of space capabilities to enhance the joint forces’ lethality and survivability.”

As the space integration lead, Fairchild plays a pivotal role in planning and coordinating with USSF squadrons and the Weapons School to integrate space assets, systems, and capabilities into the relevant missions’ objectives and scenarios.

A significant accomplishment of his during the award period was the work he performed while deployed to Headquarters, U.S. European Command Information Operations and Special Activities Division, Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cell as the Space Electromagnetic Warfare Planner during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“I participated in multiple Operational Planning Teams in response to Joint Staff Planning Orders as the Space SME [subject matter expert],” Fairchild shared. “As a result, we were able to update the USEUCOM Base Plan and Operational Plan for the crisis response.”

Fairchild also detailed the process he established to synchronize space and cyber effects, in coordination with U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) and U.S. Cyber Command, to actualize USEUCOM objectives.

This included establishing priorities and tasking methodologies to request and obtain support from USSPACECOM for space support and non-kinetic effect delivery for USEUCOM, as well as developing a concept of operation that enabled the transfer of unique equipment to Ukraine under Presidential Draw-down Authority.

Fairchild's career in the space industry began when he commissioned in 2013 from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York as an Air Force 13S or Space Operations Officer. He has since served in numerous capacities, including launch and range operations in Florida, a Space Electromagnetic Warfare mission commander in Afghanistan, and as a deployment commander in North-West Africa. He transferred to the Space Force on September 1, 2020.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my friends, family, and fellow Guardians and Airmen who have played an invaluable role in helping me achieve this remarkable milestone,” said Fairchild.

Reflecting on his journey, Fairchild emphasized the importance of taking bold and aggressive initiative in the face of uncertainty.

“I have realized that being decisive and resolute, even in the face of pushback, is crucial to achieving success,” he said. “Moreover, I have discovered the significance of diplomatic and tactful persuasion when faced with opposition regarding the utilization of space power.”

These experiences have shaped his approach to leadership, leading him to inspire and encourage all Guardians to embrace boldness and decisiveness in their actions.

“When confronted with uncertainty, it is far better to take any action and make progress rather than remain stagnant,” Fairchild expressed. “Embrace failure, debrief to usable fixes and corrections, and move out again to bring space power to the joint and coalition force.”

Fairchild concluded, “Let us remember that our role as Guardians demands proactive and assertive decision-making, even in the face of adversity. There is no comfort in growth and no growth in comfort. I am honored to have received this award and pledge to continue striving for excellence in my career field. I extend my deepest appreciation to everyone who has been a part of my journey and contributed to my success. Together, let us forge ahead, embracing boldness, decisiveness, and the relentless pursuit of advancement in the field of space operations.”

U.S. Space Force | U.S. Department of Defense

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