[color photograph of Fifth Regiment Armory] Fifth Regiment Armory
219 29th Division St.
Baltimore, MD 21201 - 2288

Fifth Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland, January 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Maryland Charter of 1632 empowered Lord Baltimore to raise troops to put down insurrection or rebellion and subdue enemies of the province. Maryland militia units fought during the French and Indian War and distinguished themselves in the American Revolution.

The Military Department is responsible for the Maryland Defense Force, the Maryland Army National Guard, the Maryland Air National Guard, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

The Military Department builds and maintains the armories and other facilities used by the Maryland Army National Guard and Air National Guard. Units of the Guard have their own command structure. Operating expenses and equipment of the Maryland Army National Guard and Maryland Air National Guard are a federal responsibility provided for under the U.S. Department of Defense. Active members of the Guard units receive pay and allowances when they are in a drill status or are ordered to active duty for training. These expenses are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Governor may call up the Maryland National Guard for state service in emergencies. During a call-up, salaries and expenses of these units are the responsibility of the State. When members of the organized military (National Guard) are ordered by the Governor to active duty for training or emergencies, they receive pay and allowances as prescribed (Code 1957, Art. 65, sec. 32). No specific provision is provided in the State budget for these expenses. For State call-ups, the Board of Public Works makes mission-specific emergency allocation of funds.

All State forms and records required for militia use and the reports and returns required by the federal government are prepared by the Military Department. Service records of all officers and enlisted persons who have served or are serving in the Maryland National Guard are maintained by the Department as well.

The Military Department also operates programs for youth. The My Life, My Choice Program is an early intervention program for at-risk youth between the ages of 12 and 16. The Military Youth Corps Challenge Program addresses the needs of at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 18.


Under State government, the office of Adjutant General was authorized first in 1793 and made a Constitutional office in 1951 (Chapter 53, Acts of 1793; Const. 1851, Art. lX, sec. 2). The Adjutant General heads the Military Department and exercises powers and duties under the Militia Law of Maryland (Code 1957, Art. 65). The organization of the Military Department also conforms to Title 32 of the U.S. Code and regulations issued pursuant thereto.

The Adjutant General is responsible for the budget of the Military Department and is the custodian of all State and federal property used by the organized militia. The Adjutant General maintains all State-owned armories located in Maryland and all other properties that may be occupied, purchased, or leased by the Military Department. The Adjutant General regulates the use of such facilities; applications for their use should be made to the Adjutant General. In addition, the Adjutant General is responsible for the administration, training, and supply of approximately 9,460 National Guard troops, including 1,487 full-time employees (310 State paid; 1,177 federally paid).

The Adjutant General is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent and serves on the Governor's Executive Council, the Cabinet Council on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, and the Governor's Commission on Maryland Military Monuments. The Assistant Adjutant General for Army and the Assistant Adjutant General for Air are both appointed by the Governor (Const., Art. IX, sec. 2). The Adjutant General and two Assistant Adjutants General are selected by the Governor from among the commissioned officers of the National Guard. Salaries of these personnel are a State reponsibility and included in the Military Department administrative budget. They are essentially on the Governor's staff, not on active duty in the usual military sense.


State Emergency Operations Center
Camp Fretterd Military Reservation
5401 Rue Saint Lo Drive
Reisterstown, Md 21136

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency began as part of the Military Department in 1989 (Chapter 674, Acts of 1989). Formerly, the Agency had been the State Emergency Management and Civil Defense Agency under the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The Agency provides for a civil defense system to protect life and property from attack and offer relief and assistance to people struck by natural disasters.

The Agency began in 1950 as the Maryland Civil Defense Agency (Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950; P.L. 920). From 1950 to 1970, it was concerned primarily with statewide nuclear attack preparedness (Chapter 563, Acts of 1949). Later, it became responsible for disaster relief and emergency resources management. Duties covered floodplain management, flood insurance initiatives, community preparedness for weather emergencies, earthquake hazard reduction, dam safety, emergency broadcast system, emergency warning, and terrorist incidents.

When the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency was established in the U.S. Department of Defense in 1972, the Population Protection Program (PPP) also was developed. The Program is adaptable to natural disasters, peacetime emergencies, and nuclear attack.

In 1979, the Three Mile Island Incident turned federal attention to radiological emergency planning. In 1980 and 1981, the Agency produced radiological emergency plans to cope with accidents at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland, and Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station near Maryland's northern border in Delta, Pennsylvania. These plans were tested in 1981 and 1982. Annually, the State Radiological Plan is tested with a full-scale operational exercise.

Since 1981, the Governor has been responsible for emergency management in Maryland. The Governor has emergency powers to suspend State statutes temporarily, direct evacuations, control access, clear debris, and use private property if necessary. When the Governor declares a state of emergency, the Agency Director coordinates the emergency acts of State government and those local governments included in the declaration. The Agency plans and executes the disaster and emergency preparedness response between State and local agencies. It coordinates emergency services with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), other state emergency management agencies, and public utility and other private agencies.

The Agency administers the State's participation in the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Planning Program. Through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army funds the planning and response to actual or potential emergencies that could develop in the disposal of the deadly chemical weapons stored at Aberdeen.

The Integrated Emergency Management System (IEMS) is the responsibility of the Agency. At all levels of government statewide, the System applies emergency preparedness and response resources to all hazards. It also uses similarities that exist in planning and response functions for all hazards. The System consists of three components: Hazard Analysis, Capability Assessment, and Multi-Year Development Planning (Code 1957, Art. 16A, secs. 1-12).

To help local governments respond to an emergency, the Agency Director may form a Rapid Response Team (Executive Order 01.01.1991.02). The Team evaluates emergencies on site and provides State resources to assist local jurisdictions. To local emergency management agencies, the Agency distributes federal emergency management grants. The Agency also distributes federal emergency disaster assistance to State and local agencies for disaster relief and recovery services.

To aid another state in time of emergency, the Governor may authorize the use of State and local resources (Chapter 193, Acts of 1993). In the event of an emergency in Maryland, the Governor also may accept aid from another state.

At Middle River adjacent to Martin State Airport, the Agency operates a federally funded laboratory for instrument calibration. The laboratory calibrates and repairs all radiological instruments used by government agencies in the State and Mid-Atlantic region.


The Maryland Defense Force originated in 1941 as the Maryland State Guard (Chapter 33, Acts of 1941). It reorganized in 1990 as the Maryland Defense Force (Chapter 239, Acts of 1990).

As commander-in-chief of the militia, the Governor has the power to organize and maintain additional military forces, known as the Maryland Defense Force. The Force is separate and distinct from the Maryland National Guard. The Force is composed of officers, commissioned or assigned, and all able-bodied citizens of the State who volunteer and are accepted for service. They may be ordered to active duty in the State by the Governor whenever the National Guard has been called into the military service of the United States. Members of the Force are uniformed as prescribed by the Governor, who also may reduce or disband such forces (Code 1957, Art. 65. secs. 62-77).

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April 1, 2001   
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