Friday, May 14, 2010

Adjutant General of Maryland Honors MDDF Band

11 MAY 2010
Headquarters, Maryland Defense Force
Pikesville, MD

“I have two bands.” declared Brigadier General (BG) James Adkins, Adjutant General of Maryland. BG Adkins arrived at the Pikesville Military reservation to honor the first anniversary of the formation and activation of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) Band, Maryland’s Musical Ambassadors. Since their activation just over one year ago, the band, to date has performed at over fifteen events, each time representing the State of Maryland and her finest traditions with musical excellence and martial flair.

The evening rehearsal was kicked off with awards and promotions being bestowed upon seven band members by BG Adkins and Major Jari Villanueva, Commanding Officer of the MDDF Band. In addition to commendations and promotions, BG Adkins presented each band member with the official challenge coin of the Adjutant General. BG Adkins coin is emblazoned with a tribute to the “Maryland 400”, the Maryland soldiers that with repeated bayonet charges, held back the advancing British at the Battle of Brooklyn Heights.

Of the bandsmen present to receive this honor was band First Sergeant (1SG) Arnold Bundy. 1SG Bundy, a retired US Army musician, joined the band last April shortly after its formation and activation. “Serving in the MDDF is part of our patriotic duty to our state and our fellow citizens.“, declared 1SG Bundy, coin in hand. He went on to say about the MDDF and its band that “The sense of duty and volunteerism is truly inspiring as is the camaraderie.”. BG Adkins was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the band for his support of the MDDF Band and the MDDF mission. Included with the certificate were musician insignias and the MDDF Band tab.

Not content with simply pinning ranks and awards, BG Adkins volunteered to conduct the band in a rousing rendition of “Queen City March”, a favorite of the MDDF Band. Armed with a conductor’s baton, BG Adkins kept perfect tempo and received a hearty round of applause from the band for his enthusiasm and his conducting abilities. “I like your version better than our usual one.”, said First Lieutenant Jessica Bykowski with a smile to BG Adkins as he enjoyed a slice of official MDDF Band birthday cake.

What had been a gray, rainy Spring evening was brightly lit with the spirit of patriotism and service by the MDDF Band and a beaming BG Adkins. With one year of service to the People of Maryland and more praise than can be counted, the MDDF Band looks forward to marching proudly into the future and continuing the tradition of patriotism and service that has been the hallmark of Marylanders since 1634.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Maryland Defense Force Appoints Senior Enlisted Advisor

11 March 2010
Headquarters, Maryland Defense Force
Pikesville, MD

BALTIMORE -- The Commanding General of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) has appointed Sgt. Maj. (MD) Ronald “Buddy” Scott as the command’s Senior Enlisted Advisor (SEA). Scott was most recently First Sergeant of MDDF’s Engineer Corps and was promoted to Sergeant Major by Governor Martin O’Malley at MDDF’s annual muster on March 27, 2010.

"I knew that one of the results of the formation of the MDDF Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Council during the 2009 ‘Year of the NCO’ would be the emergence of a leader,” said Brig. Gen. (MD) Courtney Wilson, MDDF Commanding General. “The NCO Council nominated Sgt. Maj. Scott to represent them as Senior Enlisted Advisor. He has proven himself to be a highly skilled and universally respected NCO."

“This is a very important milestone,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Sann, Command Sergeant Major and Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Maryland Military Department. “Reestablishing the position of Senior Enlisted Advisor reflects the value, professionalism and contributions of the MDDF noncommissioned officers corps. MDDF’s NCO’s have become an indispensible part of this department.”

“It is a huge honor to be picked for this job,” said Scott. “I joined the MDDF after 9-11 because I wanted to give back to my state and community. I never dreamed I would rise to this level.”

As the Senior Enlisted Advisor, Scott serves as an advocate for enlisted members and is the principle advisor to the Commanding General on matters pertaining to enlisted members. “My responsibilities are to work in and bridge two worlds,” said Scott. “One is as a member of the senior staff dealing with policy and carrying out the Commanding General’s intent. The other is to have my boots on the ground, to know and interact with the troops.”

Scott says his biggest goal is to make sure everyone is adequately and appropriately trained. “Not just skill training, but knowing and setting the standards that instill professional military bearing and build esprit de-corps so that every member of the MDDF can look back on their military career and be proud to have served in the Maryland Defense Force.”

Opening up effective lines of communication is another important goal. “I cannot do this job in a vacuum. I need to hear from the troops,” Scott explained. “What is going right? What is going wrong? How can we improve?”

Although Scott knew he had been selected for promotion, he was unaware that the Governor would “pin on” his new stripes. “I honestly had no clue,” he added. “For the Governor, our state commander in chief, to attend our muster speaks volumes to his support of the MDDF. It was an honor to be promoted by him.”

Scott has served in the MDDF since January, 2002 and has held a series of assignments of increasing responsibility in logistics and operations. He has participated in a number of major operations to include the deployment of the MDDF to Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Scott’s awards include the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Maryland Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Maryland State Service Medal, the Maryland Militia Medal with Bronze Star for Merit, and the Military Emergency Management Specialist Senior Badge. A resident of Fort Washington, Md., Scott is employed by the General Services Administration.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Maryland Governor Participates in Maryland Defense Force Annual Muster

BALTIMORE (March 27, 2010)

Governor Martin O’Malley visited the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) during its annual muster held at the Pikesville Military Reservation Saturday. The Governor, who serves as Commander-in-Chief of all state military forces, addressed the MDDF volunteers and assembled guests, reviewed the MDDF formation, and presented a number of awards and promotions.

“On behalf of the citizens of the great State of Maryland, I thank you for your service to both our state and our nation,” said Governor O’Malley. “I salute you for the patriotism, compassion and dedication to service that have become the hallmarks of the Maryland Defense Force.”

The Maryland Defense Force is a volunteer uniformed state military agency organized as one of the four components of the Maryland Military Department along with the Maryland Army National Guard, Maryland Air National Guard and Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

In delivering the keynote remarks, Governor O’Malley spoke about Maryland’s military history. “The State of Maryland has a rich tradition of volunteer military service dating back to 1633 when the state’s first standing militia was established,” he said. “Since that time generations of Maryland volunteers have served their fellow citizens in defense of our communities and way of life. The men and women of the Maryland Defense Force continue to play an active and vital role in the safety and security of our state.”

The mission of the MDDF is to provide supplemental professional and technical support to the Maryland Military Department and the Maryland National Guard as required. MDDF volunteers are routinely integrated into the Military Department’s activities and operations throughout the year. The annual muster is the one training activity that involves every member of the command at one place and at one time.

In 2009, MDDF volunteers logged more than 31,500 hours at an economic value of more than $3 million to the citizens of the State of Maryland. “You have grown to be an integral part of our state military and homeland security capabilities,” the Governor continued. “You have earned a national reputation for professionalism and competence as one of the most capable and mature State Defense Force’s in the country.”

The Maryland Defense Force, established under Title 32 of the United States Code and article 13 of the Maryland Public Safety Code, provides trained, competent and ready personnel with professional and technical skills that augment the Maryland National Guard in its state mission and support its mobilization to, and redeployment from, federal missions. The MDDF prepares for and responds to homeland security and civil emergencies by maintaining trained and ready personnel that can supplement the state’s emergency management resources, and strengthens Maryland’s communities and families through service programs such as the 22-week in-residence Freestate ChalleNGe Academy for at-risk youth.