US Vice President Mike Pence announced that service members in the Space Force, which has assigned approximately 16,000 military and civilian personnel, will be called "guardians", following which social media was abuzz with "Guardians of the Galaxy" trends and memes.
"It is my honour, on behalf of the President of the US, to announce that henceforth the men and women of the US Space Force will be known as guardians," The Hill news website quoted Pence as saying during a White House ceremony marking the service's first anniversary since its formation.
"Sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines and guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come.
"On behalf of your commander in chief, let me urge each and every one of you guardians to keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing the vision and the mission of the US Space Force, which is to ensure that America remains as dominant in space as we are on land and sea and air," he added.
The US Space Force, which officially came into being as an independent military service in December 2019, was created by Trump in 2016 as the sixth branch of the military, aimed at protecting the country's assets in space from foreign governments.
It is overseen by the US Air Force and does not intend to put troops into orbit.
Following the ceremony, the Space Force tweeted: "Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians.
"The opportunity to name a force is a momentous responsibility. Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, 'Guardians of the High Frontier'.
"The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the US and its allies."
But shortly after the announcement, "Guardians of the Galaxy", a Hollywood superhero movie franchise, started trending on Twitter.
The "Guardians of the Galaxy" Twitter account responded to the announcement, saying: "Who, us?"
While the movie's director James Gunn asked in a tweet "Can we sue this dork?", actress Pom Klementieff, who played the character of 'Mantis', queried "Maybe I can make them all sleep?"
Another Twitter user said: "They already use Gene Roddenberry's 'Star Trek' logo. They don't have a creative/original bone in their body."
"Star Trek" veteran George Takei also said: "So...does that mean with the new Galactic Federation, Spaceforce will be...Guardians of the Galaxy?"