Maryland Defense Force
|Maryland Defense Force|
Seal of the Maryland Defense Force
|Active||1917 - 1920, 1941 - 1947, 1983 to present|
|Type||State defense force|
|Part of||Maryland Military Department|
|Commanding General, Maryland Defense Force||BG (MDDF) Brian Kelm|
|Adjutant General of Maryland||MG James A. Adkins|
The Maryland Defense Force is the state defense force for the state of Maryland, United States. Its main mission is to provide financial, medical, legal, engineering, cyber security, and logistical support for the Maryland Army National Guard, the Maryland Air National Guard, the Maryland Military Department, and the Maryland State Government. The Maryland Defense Force falls under the command of the Governor of Maryland and the Adjutant General. It is a component of the Maryland Military Department. Its history dates back to colonial days in the 17th century, but it was formally established in 1917 with the mission "to protect public buildings, water supplies, and other properties". It was called the Maryland State Guard. It was disbanded in 1920 to make room for the National Guard to return to duties in the armories. The Maryland State Guard was reactivated in 1939 in response to World War II. It was then deactivated in 1947.
As of 1983, the Maryland State Guard was reactivated and renamed the Maryland Defense Force. In 1994, the Maryland Defense Force's missions were expanded to search and rescue, armory staffing, and disaster relief. As of September 11, 2001 attacks, the Maryland Defense Force was tasked with its current mission - to provide support to the Maryland Military Department as needed.