Tuesday, November 5, 2013

MDDF Sgt. Karen Holmes Honored as SGAUS 2013 Soldier of the Year

By MAJ (MDDF) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
5 November 2013

The State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) recently selected Sgt. (MDDF) Karen Holmes as their 2013 Soldier of the Year. At the SGAUS national conference, held in Charleston, South Carolina in conjunction with the Defense Support of Civilian Authorities (DSCA) National Symposium and Expo, Sgt. (MDDF) Holmes beat out state soldiers from across the United States in winning this prestigious award. She now has the distinct honor of reigning as America’s top state soldier until a new awardee is picked in late 2014.

Sgt. (MDDF) Karen Holmes is no stranger to recognition and was honored as the Maryland State Guard Association’s (MDSGA) Enlisted Soldier of the Year in 2012. She was nominated by the MDSGA and the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) for the national honor earlier this year. Sgt. (MDDF) Holmes was selected as the SGAUS 2013 Soldier of the Year for her leadership, competence and infectious enthusiasm for the MDDF and the MDSGA.

Sgt. (MDDF) Karen Holmes currently serves as the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) NCO as well as the administrative coordinator for the MDDF Honor Guard Detachment. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm, the commanding general of the MDDF stated that “Sgt. (MDDF) Holmes perseveres through any and all obstacles in her efforts to complete a mission. She is very deserving of this honor and she continues to impress us all.”

In her civilian career, Sgt. (MDDF) Holmes is a federal government safety officer and active volunteer. She works with the American Red Cross for the National Capital Region. Working with the Red Cross, she is part of the Disaster Action Team and oversees MASS Care for the Prince George’s County chapter. She has also served in the Medical Reserve Corps and as a volunteer for the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission Park Police. Col. (MDDF) Michael Barrett, president of the MDSGA said that, “Sgt. (MDDF) Holmes brings honor and distinction to the MDDF and the MDSGA through her superior service. It was an honor for us to nominate her for this national recognition.”

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: www.mddf.maryland.gov.