Netflix comedy series “Space Force” follows the titular agency as it stumbles to greatness under General Mark Naird (Steve Carell). As head of the new wing of the United States armed forces, Naird finds himself with quite ambitious goals. Of course, his eccentric team is more suited to hilarious antics than the agency’s official focus, which seems pretty fluid given the variety of projects they’re given.
Naird receives a lot of grief from his counterparts in the Army, Navy and especially the Air Force. However, with his team of loyal underlings, the General perseveres in bringing glory (or just keeping things together) to the fledgling defense agency under his command. You must have wondered how close ‘Space Force’ is to reality, but what about its central character? Let’s see if Mark Naird is based on a real general or not.
Is Mark Naird based on a real general?
Before we get into Naird’s character, let’s take a look at the agency he runs on the show. The titular Space Force is based on the real United States Space Force (USSF), the space services branch of the United States Armed Forces. In the show, the agency initially has a hefty budget and embarks on wacky plans like using a chimp to try and fix a faulty satellite (surprise surprise, it doesn’t work, and the chimp in question is missing the Chinese). During the first two seasons, the titular agency of the Netflix comedy series also launches a mission to the Moon and a mission to Mars.
In reality, the mission of the USSF is stated as follows – “The USSF is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping Guardians to conduct global space operations that enhance the way our joint forces and coalitions are fighting, while providing decision-makers with military options to achieve national goals.Thus, it appears that goals such as lunar missions are currently outside the purview of the USSF and are still being undertaken by NASA.
On a related note, the agency of the show is an independent defense branch like the army, navy, and air force. In reality, the USSF is organized under the Department of the Air Force, just as the Marine Corps is under the Department of the Navy. So for all the visual similarities and military pomp depicted on “Space Force,” its titular agency is quite different from the real one in how it works (thankfully!).
The USSF is headed by General John W. “Jay” Raymond, who currently appears to be its chief of space operations. He was officially sworn in on January 14, 2020 by US Vice President Mike Pence. Of course, since “Space Force” is based on real-life parody, there may be similarities between General Raymond and the character of General Naird. Most notably, the former is the highest-ranking officer in the USSF who helped found the agency and served as its first head. This is similar to Naird’s journey in season 1, which sees him take over the parodied agency.
Interestingly, General Raymond would have had something to say about the show. Besides being eager to watch it, he was also apparently in favor of a bald actor (apparently Bruce Willis) to take on the lead role. However, the (real) general also claimed to appreciate Steve Carell’s work, but suggested the actor get a haircut to look more suited to his role as ‘Chief of Space Force’. .
Read more: Where was Space Force season 2 filmed?