Maryland Defense Force

Maryland Military Department

Who We Are

Image of volunteer welding some metal frame
image of female soldier playing a clarinet
image of soldier marching
image of soldier instructing others

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is a volunteer uniformed state military agency and is one of the three pillars of the Maryland Military Department along with the Army National Guard, Air National Guard.  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 written in the Code of Maryland, Article Public Safety, Title 13 .

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 Department of Emergency Management and other local and state agencies. 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. The MDDF cannot be federalized in case of war.

MDDF volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, professions, and specialties.  Our force is made of prior military service experience desiring to continue to serve, and non-prior military volunteers who want to serve for the first time in uniform.

We are doctors, nurses, lawyers, police officers, cyber security specialists, teachers, emergency management specialists, musicians, honor guards, finance specialists, engineers, human resources specialists and administrators, chaplains, information specialists, public affairs specialists, and much more.  Together we offer a force multiplier to the Maryland Military Department as well as provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to support the Maryland communities.

image of medical soldier administering a vaccination
image of soldiers working side by side on computers
image of soldier pointing at a map on a tv screen
image of two soldiers next to emergency vehicle

The MDDF's mission is exciting and admirable providing its members not only a sense of pride and accomplishment, but also offers the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Our amazing organization is growing and we need you!

Learn how you can volunteer and be part of the inspiration in the Great State of Maryland.