Vice President Pence joined Secretary of Defense James Mattis onstage to introduce the new Space Force branch of the military. The audience at the Pentagon gave the two Trump administration leaders thunderous applause as they took the stage.
Mattis attempted to calm the audience down multiple times, urging them to sit. With his trademark humility, Mattis turned to Pence and said simply “I assure you, Mr. Vice President, that is for you and not for me.”
Pence laughed and began clapping himself. When the applause finally died down, Mattis said, “Thank you for welcoming the Vice President, ladies and gentlemen. They usually don’t do anything like that when I’m talking alone, sir.”
During the speech, Pence referred to space as the “next battlefield.” He said:
“Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation.”
Trump later tweeted “Space Force all the way!”