TOWSON, Md. (Feb. 23, 2013) — The Maryland Society, Sons of the American Revolution awarded six Maryland Guard service members the Maryland 400 Distinguished Service Medal during a luncheon today at the Towson Country Club, Towson Md. The luncheon coincided with former President George Washington’s birthday which was Feb. 22, 1732, some 281 years ago.
Sgt. Delvon Anderson, Staff Sgt. Sonja Christian, Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) David Corkran Jr., Col. (Ret.) Wayne Johnson, Maj. Robert Marchanti II (Posthumously) and Master Sgt. Olen Smith III were this year’s recipients of the Maryland 400 Medal.
The first medals were awarded Aug. 27, 1936, during the 29th Division’s encampment at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. The medals were awarded annually to deserving Soldiers until 1941 when the 29th Division mobilized for World War II. There is no record of the medal being awarded after World War II.
Sixteen of the early 1940s medals were discovered in late 2009. The business that struck the medals still had the original die. The Maryland Society decided to reissue this medal as the Maryland 400 Distinguished Service Medal.
The medal was authorized in a June 1, 2012, change to Maryland Military Department Regulation 672-1. All Maryland National Guard service members are eligible for the medal Soldiers, Airmen, enlisted, officers, currently serving or retired.
The original sculptor’s medallion from which the medals were struck as well as the Maryland Military Department Bulletin #8 issued by Maj. Gen. Milton Reckord, adjutant general of Maryland, in the mid-1930s are on display at the Central Branch, Enoch Pratt Free Library.
Maryland is the only state in the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution that has a specific medal honoring the National Guard.
Source: A Very Brief History of The Maryland 400 Distinguished Service Medal, MDSSAR.