Who We Are

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is a volunteer uniformed state military agency and one of the four pillars of the Maryland Military Department. Formally established by the Maryland legislature in 1917, the unit’s heritage and traditions trace back to the 17th century. The MDDF is one of a number of State Defense Forces authorized by the U.S. Congress under Title 32, Section 109 and the respective state legislatures.

The Maryland Defense Force has the primary mission of providing competent and supplemental professional, technical, and military support to the Maryland Army National Guard, the Maryland Air National Guard, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. The Maryland Defense Force operates under the command of the Governor, as state Commander-in-Chief, and falls under the command and control of The Adjutant General of Maryland. State Defense Forces receive no federal funds and are supported entirely by the state.

Marylanders have a proud heritage of defending and serving their communities in times of war and disaster. From the volunteer colonial militias of the 17th century, to the citizen soldiers that responded to America’s great overseas conflicts that have touched the state, Marylanders have come together to protect their communities in times of distress and disaster. That inherited spirit of service gave birth to The Maryland State Guard during the World Wars and is the origin of the Maryland Defense Force of today.


Other Information About the MDDF


History of the Maryland Defense Force

MDDF Units