Maryland Defense Force 2023 Top Soldiers

Maryland Defense Force Recognizes Top Troops: Soldier, NCO, and Officer of the Year

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) has announced its distinguished trio for Soldier, Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), and Officer of the Year for 2023. Sgt. (MD) Henrisch Bata, representing the epitome of professionalism within the 231st Troop Command, earns the title of Soldier of the Year, while Staff Sgt. (MD) Mitchell Jackson, with 13 years of exemplary service, claims the NCO of the Year, showcasing his outstanding performance in critical missions. Meanwhile, Chaplain (Maj.) (MD) Bill Glass, serving with dedication and distinction, receives the Officer of the Year recognition, highlighting his tireless commitment to providing religious support within the MDDF and Maryland Army National Guard community. These honorees, acknowledged by Brig. Gen. (MD) Gregory J. Juday, underscore the MDDF’s commitment to excellence and its invaluable contributions to the state of Maryland.

MDDF Soldier, NCO and Officer of the Year for 2023 Selected
The Maryland Defense Force’s (MDDF) Soldier, non-commissioned officer (NCO) and officer of the year have been selected for 2023. All three MDDF honorees will be presented with formal resolutions from the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate that are signed by Delegate Adrienne A. Jones, speaker of the House of Delegates and Senator Bill Ferguson, president of the Senate respectively. The honorees along with their counterparts in the Maryland National Guard (MDNG) will also be invited to meet with Governor Wes Moore. Sgt. (MD) Henrisch Bata is the MDDF Soldier of the year, Staff Sgt. (MD) Mitchell Jackson is the MDDF non-commissioned officer (NCO) of the year and Chaplain (Maj.) (MD) Bill Glass is the MDDF officer of the year.
Sgt. (MD) Henrisch Bata is assigned to the 231st Troop Command where he serves as the command operations NCO. Sgt. (MD) Bata was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2023 and has undertaken additional missions with other units. He is also working towards completing the requirements for the senior Military Emergency Management Specialist badge. “Sgt. (MD) Bata has been a model soldier since the first day he joined the MDDF. He is a consummate professional, punctual, dependable, mature, friendly, respectful, industrious, meticulous and thorough in all he does. He doesn’t seek recognition and is always willing to lend a hand or to take on additional mission requests,” shared Lt. Col. (MD) Mark Schroeder, commander of the 231st Troop Command.
Staff Sgt. (MD) Mitchell Jackson has been a member of the MDDF for 13 years and serves with the MDDF personnel section and the MDNG Joint Staff. During his tenure he has been the recipient of several awards including two Maryland Commendation Medals and the Adjutant General’s Special Recognition Ribbon. He is currently pursuing the master Military Emergency Management Specialist badge and completed the U.S. Army Northern Command’s Joint Staff Training Course in 2023. During critical missions in recent years Staff Sgt. (MD) Jackson has served with distinction. “During the 2020 earthquake in Puerto Rico, as part of the first real world activations of the Unclassified Processing, Analysis and Dissemination team, Staff Sgt. (MD) Jackson applied his knowledge of information systems to support the operation of Maryland National Guard computer systems that supported the Puerto Rico National Guard. In addition, during Covid-19 Staff Sgt. (MD) Jackson provided computer system support that better enabled unit collaboration while creating products for leadership during his 70-day state activation period,” said Lt. Col. (MD) John Green who serves with the MDNG Joint Staff.
Chaplain (Maj.) (MD) Bill Glass joined the MDDF Chaplain Corps, a component of the 231st Troop Command in 2018. Since 2019 he has served with the Maryland Army National Guard (MDARNG) 70th Regiment’s Regional Training Institute (RTI) as regimental chaplain for the 1st and 2nd battalions. Since 2022 he has also served as the chaplain for the 229th MDARNG Band. Since joining the MDDF, Chaplain (Maj.) (MD) Glass has received numerous awards from the MDDF and the MDNG including two Maryland Commendation Medals and three certificates of appreciation. He is also a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Chaplain (Maj.) (MD) Glass is currently enrolled in the MDDF Commander’s Course and has also completed MDARNG Chaplaincy Training. “Chaplain (Maj.) (MD) Glass has provided exceptionally meritorious service this past year while assigned as the chaplain for the 70th Regional Training Institute. He works tirelessly in support of the 70th RTI and its subordinate elements providing religious support to countless leaders, staff and candidates,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Juan T. Bryant, commander of the 70th Regiment of the MDARNG.
“It’s an honor to recognize these patriots for their commitment and service to the State of Maryland. Their recognition is well deserved and the citizens of Maryland should be proud to know that these volunteers are working on their behalf,” said Brig. Gen. (MD) Gregory J. Juday, commanding general of the MDDF.
The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer militia unit providing competent, supplementary, professional and technical support and soldiers to the Maryland Military Department and the State of Maryland as needed. 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.
MAJ Stephen Rice
MDDF Public Affairs
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