The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) was planning to have its Annual Muster at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore on April 25th before the Coronavirus pandemic forced a change in plans.  Now on August 15, 2020 the MDDF will hold its Annual Muster at Camp Fretterd Military Reservation outdoors on the parade ground in front of 29th Division Hall instead of indoors at an armory.  The Annual Muster is a mandatory all day training activity for all Maryland Defense Force personnel.  Company formation and ceremonies will commence at 9:00 a.m.  The keynote speaker for this year’s muster will be Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen, the adjutant general of Maryland.  Remarks will also be given by Brig. Gen. (MD) Gregory J. Juday, the commanding general of the MDDF.

The morning formation will have usual promotions, awards and retirements but it will look very different from musters of years past.  MDDF personnel will stand in socially distanced open ranks and wearing face masks.  Some MDDF volunteers will be mustering with their units offsite while others will be mustering in a virtual environment.  The Annual Muster activities at Camp Fretterd however will be live streamed for remote participants.

“The coronavirus has forced us to be very innovative and adapt to the impact that the pandemic is having on society,” shared Brig. Gen. (MD) Gregory J. Juday.  “In addition to changing the muster date and mandating the use of personal protective equipment, we have had to make some of our annual training curriculum available online,” he continued.  “These adjustments will enable us to successfully complete our annual training, maintain our readiness and keep our volunteers as safe as possible,” he added.  “Overcoming obstacles is one way that we show our value to the Maryland Military Department and support the state of Maryland,” Juday concluded.

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.