The U.S. Space Force (USSF) debuted its official song on Tuesday at the 2022 Air & Space Forces Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. The song is named after the USSF motto, “Semper Supra,” which translates to “always above.”
“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,” said the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs in a press release.
“‘Semper Supra’…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.”
The statement went on to describe the creative process behind the new anthem:
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 [and] was the visionary composer and driving force of the song’s creation.
Teachenor is “an Air Force veteran and former member of the Air Force Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who has had songs recorded by many mainstream country music artists such as Luke Bryan, Trace Adkins and Montgomery Gentry,” according to Military.com. Teachenor “said he texted Raymond and Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Roger Towberman that he wanted to be involved in crafting the song. The senior leaders took him up on the offer.”
Teachenor started working on the song with Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond in 2019 when the USSF was formed. Once the song fundamentals were established, Teachenor went on to collaborate with chief musician Sean Nelson, U.S. Coast Guard Band trombonist and staff arranger, according to the USSF statement:
“I received the melody and words from James, and he wanted me to help add the harmony and to orchestrate it,” said Nelson. “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.
The lyrics to “Semper Supra” are:
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.
“Semper Supra” was performed at the conference by Air Force Band members, but that didn’t stop a little inter-branch rivalry from cropping up. When Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown was asked his opinion of the new military service song, he replied, “I’m sure it will grow on us.”
A solid military march with Sousa overtones, a brisk tempo, and plenty of pomp and flourishes, “Semper Supra” will fit in nicely with the cannon of military music.
Take a listen!