The United States Space Force is the newest branch of the American military. It formally began operating near the end of last year. Many of its duties were previously handled by the U.S. Air Force's Space Command.

As such, the bulk of the Space Force's first members are transferred from the Air Force. This includes General David D. Thompson. Thompson is the inaugural vice chief of space operations, the second-highest-ranking Space Force officer.

Tests positive for COVID-19

General Thompson has been diagnosed with having contracted the Coronavirus, CNN reports.

It's not the first time that the number two members of a U.S. military branch have been so. It's the third time in recent weeks, following the diagnoses of the second-in-commands of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps.

Both of those cases appear to be linked to an outbreak of cases connected to the White House. With Thompson, however, it seems to be a different matter. According to Air Force Magazine, a close family member of Thompson's had tested positive recently.

Thompson had apparently recently been in contact with many other top officials, including Chief of Space Operations John W. Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q. Brown Jr. As well as Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett.

Both Generals Raymond and Brown have recently been in self-isolation because of COVID-19. It came in connection with the number two officers' confirmed cases with the Coast Guard and Marines. At that time, both of them seemed to have avoided testing positive for the virus. For his part, Thompson has begun his quarantine.

Thompson took his post earlier this month

David D. Thompson graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1985. Shortly after that, he was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base. He later obtained a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University.

Since then, Thompson has taken on various assignments. His commands have included the 2nd Space Launch Squadron and the 45th Operations Group.

Along with the Aerospace Data Facility in Aurora, Colorado. He's also had top-level assignments elsewhere, including the Ninth Air Force, the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, and U.S. Strategic Command.

In 2015, Thompson became vice commander of Air Force Space Command for the first time. He held the same position with the newly-minted Space Force after its creation. In early October of 2020, he assumed his current title. It came with a promotion, making Thompson a four-star general.

Thompson has twice been awarded the Defense Superior, Service Medal. Other decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal.