Thursday, June 18, 2009

Officers Earn MEMS Qualification

By COL(MD) Robert Hastings
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
18 June 2009

BALTIMORE - Ten members of the Maryland Defense Force and Maryland National Guard have earned the Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) qualification badge. The award of the MEMS badge recognizes an individual’s completion of a challenging program of study preparing them to effectively operate in a local or statewide emergency operation.

Qualification can be earned as a Basic, Senior or Master Military Emergency Management Specialist.

The following personnel earned the Master MEMS qualification:
-Col. (MD) Charles Nalls
-Lt. Col. (MD) Donald Alves
-Lt. Col. (MD) Michael Shrank

The following personnel earned the Basic MEMS qualification:
-Lt. Col. (MD) Ronald Roberts
-Lt. Col. (MDANG) Todd Melton
-Maj. (MD) Raymond Bocelli
-Cpt. (MD) Chon Gann
-Cpt. (MD) Ryan Gross
-Cpt. (MD) Michael Sheffer
-First Lt. (MD) Isadore Beattie

“We are tremendously proud of the members of the Maryland Defense Force and National Guard who have stepped up to earn this qualification,” said Brig. Gen. Courtney Wilson, commanding general of the Maryland Defense Force. “Their new skills and knowledge increase the operational competency of the Maryland Military Department and will directly benefit the citizens of our State and Nation.”

Individuals recognized with Basic MEMS qualification have an operational understanding of the principles of emergency management, including mitigation, preparedness, emergency response and recovery and have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to effectively work within a comprehensive emergency management operation.

After completion of the Senior MEMS curriculum, participants understand the principles of emergency management including the National Response Framework, National Incident Management System and Incident Command System, have completed the FEMA Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Program Professional Development Series, and have mastered the knowledge necessary to act as a manager within an incident response.

Personnel earning the Master MEMS qualification have demonstrated the knowledge necessary to teach advanced level principles of emergency management and to act as a high-level manager within a complex incident response.

The Military Emergency Management Specialist Academy was established by the State Guard Association of the United States in 1998 to promote and advance the practice of emergency management among the various State Guards (State Defense Forces, State Military Reserve, or similar terms) and other government recognized uniformed and first responder organizations.

The Academy qualification program fully complies with current U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Administration, Incident Command System, National Incident Management System, National Response Framework and Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 requirements for training of emergency management personnel.

Headquartered at the Pikesville Military Reservation in Baltimore, the Maryland Defense Force is a volunteer uniformed state military agency organized under the Maryland Military Department. Formally established by the Maryland legislature in 1917, the unit's heritage and traditions trace back to the 17th century.

MDDF is one of a number of State Defense Forces authorized by the U.S. Congress under Title 32 and the respective state legislatures. While specific missions vary from state to state, State Defense Forces exist primarily to augment the capabilities of the National Guard. Employing volunteers who bring military experience and/or civilian professional skills, they supplement the capabilities of the National Guard, assist in National Guard mobilization for federal service, replace National Guard assets deployed out-of-state, and support state homeland security missions. State Defense Forces operate under the command of the Governor, as state Commander-in-Chief, and fall under the operational control of the state Adjutant General. State Defense Forces receive no federal funds and are supported entirely by the state.

For more information about the Maryland Defense Force, go to