“It’s great to be a Marine right now and I appreciate the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps nominating me and allowing me to compete for this position,” Stalker, who has served as the senior enlisted leader of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency since March 2018, said in an email to Marine Corps Times.
“I look forward to serving alongside the women and men of United States Space Command and appreciate General Raymond selecting me,” Stalker said.
SPACECOM launched as a combatant command in August 2019, and is separate from the U.S. Space Force — although both are headed by Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond. While Space Force falls under the Department of the Air Force and is devoted to organizing, training and equipping space forces, SPACECOM is the one that will conduct missions in space.
But Stalker anticipates that SPACECOM and Space Force, both currently based out of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, will work alongside each other though in pursuit of their missions.
“Naturally there will most likely be a unique and close relationship, but I also anticipate that will be true for the Air Force as well since they operate under the Department of the Air Force,” Stalker said. “As a Marine, building and strengthening relationships is an area of strength for many of us, and I intend on building on the current relationships and creating new ones.”
“We will utilize service members from the Space Force and other service branches towards our missions and develop lethal joint warfighters focused on the Space warfighting domain,” Stalker said.
Stalker said his swearing-in ceremony is expected in August, but an exact date is still pending. Stalker will replace Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, who’s served as SPACECOM’s senior enlisted leader since August 2019. That means Stalker is first Marine to serve in the role for the newest combatant command.
Towberman was selected as the Space Force’s senior enlisted advisor in February, and has served in the position since April.
Stalker said he is eager to support Raymond to build up the four areas identified as as the command’s focus: deter aggression/conflict; defend U.S. and allied interests; deliver space combat power; and develop ready and lethal joint warfighters.
“Gen. Raymond has clearly articulated his four focus areas, and along with strengthening our warfighting ethos, my intent is to continue the great work that CMSgt Towberman has already begun in support of those,” Stalker said.
What does Stalker imagine the command will look like in the next five years?
“The only prediction I have is that it will continue to be a great opportunity for those looking to operate in this domain and space itself will continue to be more contested and challenging,” he said.
Stalker has has several deployments, including to Somalia with Operation Restore Hope; in Bosnia-Herzegovina with Deny Flight & Provide Promise; in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Guardian Retrieval; in Okinawa, Japan with the Corps’ Unit Deployment Program; and Iraq with Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He’s also completed garrison assignments with Joint Intelligence Center Pacific, Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command.
SPACECOM previously existed from 1985 to 2002, but its responsibilities were ultimately rolled into those at U.S. Strategic Command. SPACECOM was resurrected in 2018 after President Donald Trump authorized the move.