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The Maryland Army National Guard is the Army component of the organized militia of the State of Marylandmarker. It is headquartered at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimoremarker and has units at armories and other facilities across the state.

Heraldic Items

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

  • Description: On a black disc 2 3/4 inches (6.99 cm) in diameter within a 1/8 inch (.32 cm) gold border, the shield of the Great Seal of Maryland Proper (1st and 4th quarters, yellow and black; 2nd and 3rd quarters, white and red).

  • Background:
  1. The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment on 1949-03-08.
  2. It was redesignated with description amended for Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard on 1983-12-30.

Distinctive Unit Insignia

  • Description: A gold color metal and enamel device 7/8 inch (2.22 cm) in height and 1 inch (2.54 cm) in width overall consisting of the shield, coronet, supporters and motto scroll and motto from the complete heraldic achievement of Lord Baltimore as delineated on the reverse side of the official seal of the State of Maryland and blazoned as follows:

  • Shield:
  1. Quarterly I and IV, paly of six pieces Or (gold) and Sable (black) a bend counterchanged; quarterly II and III, quarterly Argent (silver) and Gules (red) a cross bottony counterchanged.
  2. Above the shield an earl's coronet.

  • Supporters: Dexter, a plowman Proper, holding a spade in dexter hand. Sinister, a fisherman Proper, holding a fish in sinister hand.

  • Motto Scroll: A scroll folded in four undulating sections and inscribed "FATTI MASCHII PAROLE FEMINE" (Deeds are Manly, Words are Womanly) all gold.

  • Symbolism:
  1. The first and fourth (gold and black) quarters of the shield are the arms of the Calvert family and the second and third (silver (white) and red) quarters are those of the Crossland family which Cecil Calvert inherited from his grandmother, Alicia Crossland, wife of Leonard Calvert, the father of George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore.
  2. The earl's coronet above the shield indicates that although Calvert was only a baron in England, he was an earl or count palatine in Maryland.

  • Background:
  1. The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and non-color bearing units of the Maryland Army National Guard on 1971-04-09.
  2. It was amended to correct the spelling of the motto on 1971-06-08.
  3. The insignia was redesignated effective 1982-10-01 for Headquarters, State Area Command, Maryland Army National Guard.
  4. The distinctive unit insignia was amended to correct the spelling of the motto on 2001-12-07.


  • Description: That for regiments and separate battalions of the Maryland Army National Guard: From a wreath of colors, a cross bottony per cross quarterly Gules and Argent.
  • Symbolism: The crest and canton are from the arms of Lord Baltimore and appeared on the seal of the Province of Maryland probably as early as 1648.
  • Background: The crest was approved for color bearing organizations of the State of Maryland on 1924-01-11.
  • Note: This Crest is applied to the top of all Maryland National Guard Distinctive Unit Insignias to form the Unit Coat Of Arms.


The Maryland Army National Guard is organized into several major subordinate commands: the 58th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade , Combat Aviation Brigade, 29th Infantry Division, the 70th Regiment, and the 58th Troop Command. The MSCs report the The Assistant Adjutant General for Army (TAAG-Army), who in turn reports to The Adjutant General (TAG). Both officers are appointed by the governor.


The Maryland National Guard traces its roots to 1634, with the landing of two militia captains at St. Mary's Citymarker. It has a long and illustrious history: During the American Revolution, members of the "Maryland Line" repeatedly charged a vastly superior British force at the Battle of Long Island, buying time for the Continental Army to escape. It is from this incident that Maryland draws one of its official nicknames, "The Old Line State." This was the first time the American Army had used the bayonet in combat. Later in the war, the Maryland militia made a number of additional bayonet charges, including at Cowpensmarker, where their charge turned impending defeat into victory, and at Guilford Courthouse, where they forced the elite British Foot Guards to retreat.

War of 1812

During the War of 1812, the Maryland militia held the line at the Battle of North Point in 1814, commanded by Brigadier General John Stricker. There, they held up the British attack for two hours, long enough for the defense of Baltimore to be shored up. The British forces, many of whom were veterans of the Napoleonic Wars took around 300 casualties, and eventually turned back rather than attempt an assault on the American defenses at Baltimore.

Civil War

Maryland militia units fought on both sides of the Civil War. At the Battle of Front Royal, the Union 1st Maryland was engaged and defeated by the Confederate 1st Maryland. The lineage of the Confderate 1st Maryland is perpetuated by the 175th Infantry Regiment, whose lineage dates back to 1774.

Great Railroad Strike of 1877

During the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, on July 20 Governor Carroll called up the 5th and 6th Regiments from Baltimore to stop strikers in Cumberland from disrupting rail service. While marching from their armories to a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train at Camden Station, an armed mob attacked the troops. The 6th Regiment fired on the mob, killing 10 and wounding 25, and several members of both regiments were injured by stones and bricks. The troops were then besieged by 50,000 rioters inside Camden Yards until the arrival of federal troops in Baltimore. The building, now part of a professional sports arena, still bears bullet holes from rioters firing at troops inside.

World War I

During the First World War, most Maryland National Guard troops served as part of the 29th Division, and their campaign credits include Meuse-Argonne. In addition, the 1st Separate Company, an all-black unit, served as part of the 372nd Infantry Regiment, although ostensibly assigned to the 93rd Division, actually fought under French control. One of the Maryland National Guard's longest-mobilized units during the war was the 117th Trench Mortar Battery, which served under the 42nd Division from October 1917 until the end of the war. It was the first Maryland unit to see combat, and participated in all of the AEF's major battles during that period.

World War II

World War II also saw the mobilization of the Maryland National Guard. Again, most were assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, where they took part in the D-Day landings and fought their way across France and Germany. In 1945, they missed being the first unit to link up with the Soviet Red Army on the Elbe River by a matter of hours.

Korean War

The Maryland National Guard had very few troops mobilized for the Korean War, but those that were played an important role. The 231st Transportation Truck Battalion was the first National Guard unit to land in Korea, and were immediately put to use keeping supplies flowing within the Pusan Perimeter. Originally a segregated, all-black unit, the 231st was integrated during this service in Korea, only to be again segregated when it returned to state status.

Vietnam War

Although no Maryland Army National Guard units served in Vietnam, the Maryland Army Guard played a significant role during the Cold War. Across the state, Nike missile batteries, armed with nuclear warhead, were manned by Maryland National Guardsmen to defend the National Capital area from Soviet bombers from the mid-1950s until the early 1970s. Maryland National Guard troops were also kept busy with riot-control duty in the 1960s and early 1970s, most notably during the Baltimore Riots of 1968, the Salisbury riots of May, 1968, the University of Maryland student riots of 1970-72, and the Cambridge Riots of 1963 and 1967.

War on Terrorism

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Maryland Army National Guard has mobilized a number of units, including the 58th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, for service in Iraq; Afghanistan; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and elsewhere. Guardsmen from the 115th Military Police Battalion were among the first and most heavily called upon, having arrived at the Pentagon on Sept. 12 and subsequently served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. Maryland elements of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 29th Infantry Division served in Iraq, Maryland elements of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division served in Afghanistan, and Maryland National Guard elements were attached to 44th Medical Command/XVIII Airborne Corps for service in Iraq. Maryland is also home to several Special Operations units, most notably Company B, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and Special Operations Detachment, Joint Forces. Members of these units have both been mobilized to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Currently, the Special Operations Detachment, Joint Forces was selected and mobilized to create the Special Operations Command for the newly created United States Africa Command.

Notable Members


External links

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