Saturday, July 20, 2013

MDDF Holds NCO Induction Ceremony

By MAJ (MDDF) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
20 July 2013

On July 20, 2013 nine Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) State Soldiers were inducted into the MDDF non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps. The induction ceremony was held at the NCO Club at the Pikesville Military Reservation. Sgt. (MDDF) Karen Holmes coordinated the event and the master of ceremonies was Sgt. Maj. (MDDF) Loren Finch. At the beginning of the ceremony, Sgt. Maj. (MDDF) Finch provided an explanation of the ceremony’s tradition that is traced to the Prussian Army of Frederick the Great.

Afterward, three candles were lit. The red candle represented valor and hardiness. The white candle represented purity and innocence and the blue candle represented vigilance, perseverance and justice.

After the reading of the “NCO Charge” by Command Sgt. Maj. (MDDF) Ronald Scott, the inductees walked under a saber arch which symbolized “taking the steps to become a leader,” according to Sgt. Karen Holmes. The inductees then recited the “NCO Creed” before listening to an inspiring keynote address from Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Beyard of the Maryland Army National Guard’s 29th Combat Aviation Brigade.

Opening remarks were made by Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm, the commanding general of the MDDF. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Kelm commented that the “MDDF NCO corps is the backbone of our state military reserve component.” “We count on our NCO corps to provide leadership and to serve as the glue that keeps our organization together.” Command Sgt. Maj. (MDDF) Scott added that the newly inducted “NCOs have proven their ability, willingness and capacity to lead.”

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: