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Government Agency Honoree Maryland Defense Force (Statewide)

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is a volunteer, uniformed state military agency, where 160 men and women volunteered more than 40,000 hours to support the 5,000 members of the Maryland National Guard–an equivalent of $2.7 million of services. MDDF was selected for the Governor’s Service Award in the 2020 Government Agency category.

When Governor Hogan activated the Maryland National Guard to serve Marylanders at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Defense Force members served them with engineering, religious, medical, cyber and headquarters support.

The MDDF members ensure the Soldiers and Airmen have all of their proper paperwork and guide them through a pre-medical screening to ensure they are not exhibiting any signs of illness. If any exhibit any symptoms, they are sent through a more in-depth screening process.

“The MDDF provides professional and technical support on a variety of levels,” said Maj. (MDDF) Fred Sanford, the officer in charge. “I’m a teacher, and we’re all off for two to three weeks [because of COVID-19]. When the call came from our chain of command to support the response to COVID-19, I thought that this was an opportunity to serve and to work with my National Guard counterparts.’” (Excerpt from A Service Member’s First Stop in Response to COVID-19)

MDDF members provide competent, supplementary, professional and technical support and soldiers to the Maryland Army Guard, the Maryland Air National Guard, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 200 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support, and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. 

Read More: 10th Medical Regiment


Chief Warrant Officer Travis Keys conducts repairs to the Westminster Readiness Center which received tornado damage.


SFC AndRea Ashley-Garrick receives a Meritorious Service Medal for all of her work during COVID operations.


Graduation photo of the MDDF Advanced Officer’s Course.