Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MDDF Holds Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Graduation Ceremony

By MAJ (MDDF) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
15 April 2014

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) held a ceremony on April 12, 2014 for recent graduates of the Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Academy, managed by the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS). The ceremony was sponsored by the Maryland State Guard Association. Graduates of the academy are authorized to wear the MEMS Specialist badge on the uniform. The Basic MEMS Specialist, Senior MEMS Specialist and Master MEMS Specialist badges were awarded at the ceremony based upon the training level that was completed by the individual MDDF volunteer.
The MEMS training qualification program prepares state military volunteers to “effectively operate and function in local or statewide military emergency management mobilizations,” according to SGAUS. After earning the Basic MEMS Specialist badge, the volunteer should be able to effectively operate in an emergency operations center. A recipient of the Senior MEMS Specialist Badge should also be able to work effectively in a joint operations center. A recipient of the Master MEMS Specialist Badge must participate in a capstone course, train other specialists and receive advanced emergency management training.

At the ceremony there were nineteen recipients of the Basic MEMS Specialist Badge, two recipients of the Senior MEMS Specialist Badge and the sole recipient of the Master MEMS Specialist Badge was Col. (MDDF) John B. Carter. Col. (MDDF) Michael Barrett, President of the Maryland State Guard Association served as the master of ceremonies. Tom Gilboy, who formerly served as the Director of the Emergency Management Professional Program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) served as the keynote speaker. He shared important insights and career advice from his lengthy and rewarding emergency management career.

Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm, the commanding general of the MDDF stated that, “The MEMS qualification badge training is the core of our mission and purpose as a state military organization. We need to be able to effectively support our state in an emergency. I would like to see all of our volunteers get the required training and earn this badge.”

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.