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.