Maryland Defense Force serving at VA Medical Center

The Maryland State Defense Force has been on active duty servicing on multiple missions since the beginning of the pandemic.  One mission involves the Defense Force assisting veterans at the Baltimore VA Medical Center.


At 0600 on a Sunday morning a crew from the Maryland Defense Force was on duty at the Baltimore VA Medical Center to support the Maryland National Guard with COVID vaccinations for veterans in the greater Baltimore area.

Yesterday, over 1,000 vaccination shots were administered. Today, nearly 500 vaccination shots were given.

The motto for the Maryland Defense Force is “Officio Vocante Parati.” That means “Ready When Called.” Today, the Maryland Defense Force was called bright and early. And we were ready.


Here is an article by Major Stephen Rice regarding the role of the Maryland State Defense Force during the Covid 19 pandemic.


Defense Force Plays Important Role
As the Maryland National Guard Joint Staff works diligently to serve the state and combat the impacts of COVID-19, they are supported by members of the Maryland Defense Force. The Joint Staff serves as the Joint Force Headquarters for the MDNG. It’s also the Joint Staff’s job to assist the adjutant general of Maryland in exercising authority and direction over the Maryland Military Department in order to accomplish state and federal missions.
“The MDDF personnel detailed to the MDNG Joint Staff are playing an important role for the State of Maryland. Their integration has facilitated the success of numerous statewide missions and we’re proud of the work that they continue to do,” said Brig. Gen. (MD) Gregory J. Juday, commanding general of the MDDF.
The MDDF contingent is led by Lt. Col. (MD) Fred Sanford who is also the commander of the MDDF Troop Command. “MDDF personnel, as part of the Joint Staff, have supported cyber missions, served on the Unclassified Processing Analysis and Dissemination team, and worked as plans and liaison officers,” according to Sanford. “MDDF personnel bring a lot of skills and training to the Joint Staff at no cost to the state of Maryland.”
“The MDDF also helps to provide some institutional memory for the Joint Staff given MDNG personnel rotation schedules,” said Maj. (MD) Bryan Fischer, a MDDF member assigned to the Joint Staff. “As a plans officer, my job is to help anticipate the military and emergency management needs of the Maryland National Guard.”
Since the MDNG’s support of the state’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, MDDF personnel have served over 2,000 hours as members of the MDNG Joint Staff team.
“I am forever in awe of the dedication of our MDDF compatriots who stand shoulder to shoulder with us as we serve Maryland,” said U.S. Army Col. Charles M. Blomquist, the chief of staff for the MDNG Joint Staff. “They provide a level of expertise and commitment that makes us proud to serve together whether for a domestic operation like a winter storm or the COVID-19 pandemic.”
His sentiments were echoed by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Adam R. Flasch, the director of the Joint Staff. “The MDDF Team is a critical part of our Joint Staff manning. We simply could not execute the mission at the level or depth we have seen during Covid-19 without them. They are the very embodiment of selfless service,” Flasch added.
The Maryland Defense Force is the state’s uniformed volunteer militia branch that provides competent supplementary professional and technical support 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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