FAQ for Prospective Maryland Defense Force Soldiers

What is the process for joining the Maryland Defense Force

Contact the MDDF recruiter at recruiter@mddf.us. You will be asked to interview with the MDDF Unit Commander. Upon selection, you must complete the application for service in the Maryland Defense Force. Upon acceptance you will be sworn in and assigned to your prospective MDDF unit.

How long is the enlistment?

Service in the Maryland Defense Force is voluntary. MDDF Soldiers enlist for 2 year renewable periods. You may be involuntary discharged, on an honorable basis, at anytime, with or without cause. You have a right to resign at anytime by giving not less than 30 days notice. More information on terms of membership in the MDDF can be found in the application package.

Do I have to go to basic training?

All members of the MDDF are required to go through the basic training classroom curriculum as soon as possible after enlistment. This course covers basic military drill and ceremonies and history of the MDDF. Members with prior military service can have some requirements waived.

What rank do I hold?

Prior enlisted service members will retain the rank they held while on active. Civilian enlistees will start at enlisted ranks determined by their skill level, experience and education. All members of the MDDF are eligible for promotion and for state decorations and awards.

Is my participation in drills or other operations mandatory?

We strongly encourage you to attend the weekday bi-monthly, and to volunteer for whatever operations your calendar allows. In sum, in either the active or inactive status, it takes a pattern of deliberate non-participation for there to be any consequences. It is really a question of professionalism as a MDDF Soldier. In any event, the only penalty for non-participation is being dropped from the rolls of the unit and being involuntary discharged, although that is extremely rare. Call up for state emergencies is made by the Governor, and although not strictly covered under the Maryland Military Law, members are expected to make their best effort to assist the stricken community or serve in the called event.

Is prior military experience required?

It is preferred, but not required.

Do I need to be a resident of Maryland?

No. Any U.S. citizen is eligible to join, regardless of their legal state of residence.

Where does the Maryland Defense Force drill?

MDDF Soldiers will meet at the Pikesville Armory in Pikesville, Maryland. The Armory is located at 610 Reisterstown Rd Baltimore, MD 21208 and has gated parking.

When & how often does the MDDF meet?

Drills take place twice a month on the first Tuesday (1800-2100) and third Tuesday (1800-2100) each month. If you can not attend, it is your responsiblity to notify your Unit or Deputy Commander.

Can I be sent overseas?

Absolutely not. The MDDF cannot be federalized and cannot be deployed outside Maryland.

Are uniforms and military insignia provided?

MDDF Soldiers buy their own basic field uniform (ACUs). Because the MDDF is a voluntary organization, members are expected to purchase their own berets, boots, and basic insignia (patches and pins), though many of these items may be purchased used, for very nominal cost.

What benefits can I receive by joining the Maryland Defense Force?

First is the sense of community service to the state and your community. You will also have access to training through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Maryland Defense Force.

If I have more questions?

Please e-mail the MDDF Recruiter for more information and assistance.