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"SF is a controlled way to think and dream about the future."
- Gregory Benford

Space Navy  
  Spacefaring professional soldiers.  

As far as I know, the first use of this phrase.

At a point within the moonís orbit we were almost overtaken by battleship X-13 of the Pirates of Space. X-13, it will be remembered, was the first of the earthís Space-navy battleships to fall into the hands of these pirates. This ship, armed with thermo and disintegration ray mortars of high power, attempted to overhaul us and relieve us of our treasure. We realized that, if the pirate ship were successful in overhauling us, after robbing us, they might have trained their thermoguns and rayguns on us, disintegrating our big liner or melting us to scrap, thus meting out a horrible death to every soul on board.
Technovelgy from Pirates of Space, by B.X. Barry.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Soon after, this term was used in Wandl, the Invader (1932) by Ray Cummings:

As we advanced into what now seemed the outskirts of a city like Wor, with a pile of solid-looking metal structures ranging the horizon ahead, I saw a distant spaceship rise up and wing away. Wandl was proceeding with the dispatching of her space navy to oppose the distantly gathering ships of Earth, Mars and Venus. No doubt with the wrecking of the control station the masters of Wandl immediately recognized the paramount importance of the coming battle in space, and promptly sent more space-forces off, despite the storm and the excitement which the wrecked station must have spread throughout the little world.

The huge, globular, disc-like ship sailed high over us, rotating with the impulse of its rock-streams; in a moment it was lost in the stars.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Pirates of Space
  More Ideas and Technology by B.X. Barry
  Tech news articles related to Pirates of Space
  Tech news articles related to works by B.X. Barry

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