Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
8 March 2013
On March 23, 2013 the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) will hold its Annual Muster at the Pikesville Military Reservation. The Annual Muster is a mandatory all day training activity for all Maryland Defense Force personnel. Company formation and ceremonies will commence at 9:00 a.m. The keynote speaker for this year’s muster will be Cmdr. (Ret.) Everett Alvarez, Jr. Cmdr. (Ret.) Everett Alvarez, Jr. served with distinction in the U.S. Navy for twenty years.
As a naval aviator during Operation Pierce Arrow, he was shot down over North Vietnam on August 5, 1964 and taken prisoner. At the time, Lt. j.g. Alvarez was the first American aviator shot down over North Vietnam and he was subsequently held as a prisoner of war (POW) for eight and a half years. Cmdr. (Ret.) Alvarez was held at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” and finally released on February 12, 1973. Cmdr. (Ret.) Alvarez is the second longest-held POW in American history.
Cmdr. (Ret.) Alvarez’s military decorations include the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and two Purple Heart Medals. Recently, he was honored with the 2012 Lone Sailor Award for his post military achievements. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm, the commanding general of the MDDF stated that he was “thrilled that Cmdr. Alvarez will be speaking at the Annual Muster.” “He is a true patriot and exemplifies the Navy tradition of strength and honor.” “His life’s work has been not for self but for country and we are truly privileged to have him.”
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/.