Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Maryland Defense Force Hosts Change of Command Ceremony

By CPT(MD) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
19 July 2011

On August 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) will host a Change of Command ceremony at the Pikesville Military Reservation. At the ceremony Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Courtney B. Wilson will formally relinquish command of the Maryland Defense Force to Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm. Brig. Gen. Wilson has served as the Maryland Defense Force commander since 2006. Brig. Gen. Kelm most recently served as the commander of the Maryland Defense Force’s 121st Engineer Regiment. He was officially promoted to commander of the Maryland Defense Force on July 1, 2011 by Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the Adjutant General of Maryland.

Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Wilson served in the U.S. Army, doing a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1971. Assigned to an infantry reconnaissance platoon, he was heavily engaged in the border regions in and around the Da Nang Vital Area and the Quang Nam region. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Wilson was wounded in action and returned to the United States, recovering at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco before traveling back to Maryland.

Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Wilson is currently the Executive Director of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum. He is the former President of the Greater Baltimore History Alliance, and has served on many local, regional, and national boards, to include the Maryland Military Historical Society, Star Spangled Banner Flag House, The President's Council on National Parks, and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Courtney B. Wilson is the recipient of a number of U.S. Military, State of Maryland, and civilian decorations, awards and citations. These awards include the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Combat Infantry Badge.

He joined the Maryland Defense Force in 2004 as a member of the History Section, Civil-Military Affairs, and was appointed Special Projects Officer, Deputy Chief of Staff, and later Chief of Staff. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Wilson was appointed Commanding General on September 5, 2006, and upon relinquishing command, continues to support the Maryland Defense Force as an advisor to the Adjutant General of Maryland.

Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Kelm is a seasoned member of the military with more than 30 years of experience in facility engineering. He is a registered professional engineer and has a strong background in strategic planning. He is also a member of the Acquisition Professional Community and a warranted contracting officer with unlimited contract authority. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Kelm holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Purdue University. He is also a graduate of the United States Naval War College.

Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Kelm's career began in the U.S. Navy and spanned 26 years until his retirement in 2003. While on active duty, he served in the Civil Engineer Corps of the United States Navy. His assignments included public works officer/officer in charge of construction at Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, Chief of Staff for the Second Naval Construction Brigade in Little Creek, Va., Commander of the 20th Naval Construction Regiment, and Commanding Officer of the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Kelm joined the Maryland Defense Force in 2006 and was assigned as the commander of the newly established Engineer Corps, now designated the 121st Engineer Regiment.

Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Kelm's military awards include the Legion of Merit with one gold star, the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars and the Navy Commendation Medal with one silver star. He is also a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the Naval Expeditionary Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Fleet Marine Insignia, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal, among others.

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: http://mddf.maryland.gov.