HAMPTON, Va. — On March 12, the United States Space Force (USSF) welcomed its first female American Indian Intelligence Officer: Captain Haida StarEagle, member of the Matinecock Tribe. Her father, Chief Samuel Little Fox, led the invocation during the induction ceremony.

"Captain StarEagle has the impressive combination of capability, superior intellect, drive and passion for serving," said Lt. Col. Michael Hollingsworth, United States Special Operations Command, in a statement. "The Space Force is gaining an absolutely phenomenal leader.”

Established on Dec. 20, 2019, the U.S. Space Force is the newest branch of the Armed Forces. The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force, meaning the Secretary of the Air Force has overall responsibility for the USSF, under the guidance and direction of the Secretary of Defense.

According to Public Affairs Advisor to the Vice Chief of Space Operations Lynn Kirby, Captain StarEagle is not the first Native American woman in the Space Force. The numbers of other Native Americans in the USSF couldn’t be validated as of press time.

210312 F ZX559 1143Chief Samuel Little Fox, shaman of the Matinecock Tribe and all 13 tribes on Long Island, N.Y., leads the invocation at his daughter's, Capt. Haida StarEagle, induction to the United States Space Force at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, March 12, 2021. (Photo: 1st. Lt. Leah Young)

USSF intelligence officers analyze data to coordinate with other services to determining the capabilities and vulnerabilities of potential adversaries. Intelligence officers are highly trained to provide information to Airmen so they can successfully complete their missions through surveillance and reconnaissance. A demanding training is required including the completion of 12 months in commissioned service after completing the Intelligence Officer Initial, must be between the ages of 18 and 39, and pass a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). 

The Matinecock Tribe is an Algonquian people who reside on the north shore of Long Island, N.Y. They are not recognized as a tribe on a federal level or in the state of New York. 

"My father told me when I was younger that I must find my own way and figure out how to leave a legacy for our tribe," said Captain StarEagle in a press release. "Joining the Space Force and continuing to serve is the best way to leave my mark within my tribe, create a legacy for my people, and make my father proud."

Celebrating 10 years of Native News...

We launched Native News Online back in February 2011 with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to celebrate our first decade with a gift of $10 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Author: Darren Thompson
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a freelance journalist and based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where he also contributes to Unicorn Riot, an alternative media publication. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.