The Vice President revealed the new name on Friday, at an event to commemorate the anniversary of the newest addition to the US armed forces. The move is one of US President Donald Trump’s landmark pledges.
Mr Pence said: “It is my honour, on behalf of the president of the United States, to announce that henceforth the men and women of the United States Space Force will be known as guardians.
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guardians will be defending our nation for generations to come.”
The new branch announced the new name with a statement published on its Twitter account.
It wrote: “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. Guardians. #SemperSupra!”
However, some Twitter users mocked the new name as they likened it to Marvel’s superhero franchise ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’.
“And what is being done to keep the other services from calling them Trekkies?”
Another person wrote: “It took you a year to come up with a Star Trek logo and a Marvel name? Was your backup the Go-go Gadget Galactics or something?”
The group’s motto, “Semper Supra,” means “always above” in latin, and was first used by the space force in July.
President Trump ordered the US Department of Defence to form the Space Force when he signed Space Policy Directive-4 in February 2019.
The Space Force was officially set up 10 months later, becoming the US’ latest military force since the Air Force in 1947.
The new branch remains a component of the Air Force, just as the Marine Corps belongs to a department of the Navy.
In its mission statement, the Space Force claimed it “organises, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect US and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force”.
It added: “USSF responsibilities include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power and organising space forces to present to our Combatant Commands.”