MDSGA & MDDF Select the 2014 NCO and Soldier of the Year Winners

By MAJ (MDDF) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
10 December 2014

At the recent Maryland State Guard Association (MDSGA) holiday ball, Sgt. (MDDF) Kevin Carrera was named the 2014 Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) of the year.  At the same event, 2nd Lt. (MDDF) Jeremy O’Mard was named the 2014 Soldier of the year.  These awards are given by the MDSGA upon the recommendation of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) NCO Council and the approval of the Commanding General of the MDDF.

Sgt. (MDDF) Kevin Carrera enlisted in the MDDF in 2011 and quickly made an impact.   His career began as a human resources specialist with the MDDF’s 10th Medical Regiment.  His hard work and dedication earned him a promotion to administrative NCO where he continued to perform at an exceptional level.  Currently, Sgt. (MDDF) Carrera serves as the supply sergeant for the 10th Medical Regiment.


In addition to his assigned unit duties, Sgt. (MDDF) Carrera also serves with the MDDF Honor Guard that was formed in 2012.   Col. (MDDF) Michael Barrett, president of the MDSGA shared that, “His leadership by example, has been a positive motivation to other MDDF state soldiers throughout his three and a half years of service.” “His dedication to duty, spirit of volunteerism and leadership, have made him very deserving of this honor.”

2nd Lt. (MDDF) Jeremy O’Mard enlisted in the MDDF in 2010.  Since that time he has “been one of the most active and the most visible NCOs in the MDDF,” according to Col. (MDDF) Michael Barrett.  2nd Lt. (MDDF) O’Mard joined the Information Technology unit (D-6) initially as a technical troubleshooter and was quickly promoted.  Lt. (MDDF) O’Mard developed a reputation for being able “to get the job done and get it done right,” according to Col. (MDDF) Barrett.

After being promoted to sergeant, earlier in 2014 Lt. O’Mard was asked to take a commission in order to become Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm’s Aide de Camp.  Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Kelm stated that, “He caught the eye of the senior command staff because of his professionalism and devotion to duty.” “He continues to do a great job in this new role.”

At the holiday ball, both Sgt. (MDDF) Carrera and Lt. (MDDF) O’Mard were somewhat surprised by the recognition.  Sgt. (MDDF) Carrera stated that, “I didn’t expect this but I am happy and very proud to receive this award.”  Lt. O’Mard added that, “I didn’t know that this was going to happen but I am humbled and appreciative of this special honor.”  

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: www.mddf.maryland.gov.