Published Sept. 20, 2022
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) —
Every branch of the armed forces has an official song, from “The Army Goes Rolling Along” to “The Marines’ Hymn.” Each song is part of the services’ foundation and represents its values, traditions and culture.
The U.S. Space Force, the newest military branch established in 2019, has officially adopted its own song titled, “Semper Supra” that was unveiled during the 2022 Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Sept. 20.
“Semper Supra” was named after the USSF motto, which is Latin for, “Always Above.” It was created to capture the esprit de corps of both current and future Guardians and intends to bring together service members by giving them a sense of pride.
Two former service members collaborated to create the song, a process that took years of research and revisions to make sure the song was ready for release.
“The song was a long work in progress because I wanted it to encompass all the capabilities that the Space Force offers and its vision,” said James Teachenor, a singer/songwriter who created the lyrics and melody, was the visionary composer and driving force of the song’s creation.
Teachenor, a prior member of the U.S. Air Force Band at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, worked with Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond to begin the songwriting process when the Space Force was formed in 2019.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to establish a Space Force song that will be part of our culture and heritage for years to come,” Raymond said. “Our traditions are part of the fabric that weave us all together as we execute our missions side-by-side; I will be proud to sing ‘Semper Supra’ alongside my fellow Guardians.”
After creating a foundation for the song, Teachenor’s project was sent to various military bands that could create a musical arrangement to give finishing touches and complete the song’s sound; 12 musical submissions of the song were under review. Teachenor then collaborated with chief musician Sean Nelson, U.S. Coast Guard Band trombonist and staff arranger.
“I received the melody and words from James, and he wanted me to help add the harmony and to orchestrate it,” Nelson said. “At first, it started with singing and the piano. I became familiar with the other branches’ songs, but I wanted this one to have its own modern spin to reflect what the Space Force is – modern, new and very advanced.”
Once Nelson added more than 30 instrument parts, the song’s arrangement was played and recorded by the USCG band, then submitted to the Space Force for review. After many months of development, revisions and variations in coordination with the USCG band, the Space Force picked the final version of “Semper Supra,” to capture what it means to be a Guardian.
A recording of “Semper Supra” and behind-the-music video can be seen here. The lyrics can be seen below.
The official U.S. Space Force song
We’re the mighty watchful eye,
Guardians beyond the blue,
The invisible front line,
Warfighters brave and true.
Boldly reaching into space,
There’s no limit to our sky.
Standing guard both night and day,
We’re the Space Force from on high.