BALTIMORE - As a new decade begins, so comes a new symbol depicting the Maryland National Guard's future focus in a competitive global environment.
The MDNG, consisting of almost 6,000 Army and Air National Guard members, supports the state of Maryland's domestic homeland capabilities and U.S. Army and Air Force operations around the globe.
"The MDNG's new logo demonstrates our strengths in the midst of a rapidly changing world," said Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen, adjutant general for Maryland. "We will be more lethal, we will build more relationships, and we will do it together with our domestic and international partners."
The logo depicts some of the MDNG's most essential Army and Air aviation assets, a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, capable of delivering immense lethality in combat or enabling relief efforts during disaster situations.
The green background represents the U.S. Army fighting force with the blue soldering lines, often found on circuit boards, to represent the U.S. Air Force's cyber and intelligence capabilities.
The center features colors of the Maryland flag embedded into the state's shape with a "Minuteman" standing overwatch to symbolize the "Always Ready, Always There"the presence of the MDNG. The MDNG traces its roots to March 25, 1634, when two militia captains were among over 150 colonists who disembarked in the new world to form a European settlement in what would become Maryland.
The purple background in the outer rim represents the joint force uniting MDNG Army and Air Force services. The two stars represent the general officer command for which the MDNG is led. "Old Line" is the motto of the MDNG, derived from when the Maryland Militia repeatedly charged British soldiers with fixed bayonets at the Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War. These Marylanders held the line that protected Gen. George Washington's retreat, thus ensuring that the American Army could continue to fight and win America's fight for independence. Maryland is the "Old Line State."
Today's MDNG plays a critical role in the 2018 National Defense Strategy.
The Defense Department's NDS outlines three primary lines of efforts for which decisive and sustained military advantages for the U.S. are generated; increasing lethality, strengthening alliances and attracting new partners, and reform.
The MDNG's mission is to protect and assist the citizens of Maryland at a moment's notice while we fight and win our nation's wars on the ground, in the air, and in the intelligence, information and cyber domains.
"We have the means of supporting today's missions with our vital capabilities," Gowen said. "We are demonstrating our lethal capabilities from the air, on the battlefield and within the cyber domain."
Gowen said the partnerships between the MDNG and the Estonian Defence Forces and the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina are the strongest they've been since the State Partnership Program began more than 26 years ago.
"The invaluable partnerships we have with Estonia and BiH contribute deeply to the ongoing combined operations in specific U.S. European Command regions," said Gowen. "Our individual members build relationships with our partner nations and learn from one another before going out and getting the job done."
In the past, MDNG units have deployed to combat areas with the EDF or AFBiH as a collective unit.
Last year, hundreds of MDNG members, about 200 Soldiers and 450 Airmen deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Syria and other areas around the world.
About 40 members of the 175th Cyberspace Operations Group were called to federal service to support offensive cyber capabilities at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Two teams of about five soldiers each from the 110th Information Operations Battalion deployed to the Horn of Africa. Hundreds of MDNG members participated in major exercises and training events in Estonia and BiH through the SPP.
In addition to the federal missions, the MDNG supported Hurricane Dorian relief efforts by sending two UH-60s with the Maryland Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team to North Carolina.
In fiscal 2020, the MDNG is expected to deploy about one-third of its forces for various operations around the world.
"We will execute our state and federal missions with overwhelming effectiveness," Gowen assured. "We'll do this by sustaining an organization that values competence, strong leadership, and teamwork while providing its member's personal growth and a higher sense of purpose."
In addition to the MDNG, Gowen also oversees the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, 140 state employees who specialize in emergency management, and the Maryland Defense Force, consisting of about 150 volunteers uniformed personnel with professional and technical skills that augment the MDNG's state mission.
The transition to the new MDNG logo and templates will be incorporated into all internal and external MDNG products.