By MAJ (MDDF) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
31 August 2014
As a part of the Star Spangled 200 festivities honoring, the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) Band will perform for the 200th anniversary ceremony of the Battle of North Point. On September 11, 2014 five hundred members of the Maryland National Guard (MDNG) 175th Infantry Regiment (Fifth Maryland) will replicate the six mile route that the Maryland Militia took two hundred years ago to engage the British in battle and protect the City of Baltimore from attack. The march will begin in Baltimore City’s Patterson Park where the route will take the 175th along Eastern Avenue into Baltimore County with a final stop at Battle Acre Park in Dundalk, Maryland.
During the ceremony at Patterson Park preceding the march, the MDDF Band will perform with elements of the MDNG’s 229th Army Band. A special tribute will also be given by Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley. At the end of the march in Battle Acre Park, the MDDF Band will again perform with elements of the MDNG’s 229th Army Band. A special wreath laying ceremony will also be conducted by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and representatives from the British Embassy. More information on this event can be found at http://www.starspangled200.com/star-spangled-spectacular/detailed-schedule/200th-march-defenders/#.U_QHqPldVqU.
Officially known as “Maryland’s Musical Ambassadors,” the MDDF Band is a ceremonial unit of the Maryland Defense Force under the direction of Lt. Col. (MDDF) Jari Villanueva. Members of the band include retired and former members of our nation’s military service bands, music educators and students from all over the state. The band provides musical and ceremonial support to the Maryland Military Department and the State of Maryland. There are 22 states (plus the commonwealth of Puerto Rico) that have State Defense Forces to provide additional uniformed volunteer support to the National Guard. Maryland is only one of four states to have a State Defense Force band.
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.