The Maryland National Guard Commendation Medal honors Maryland National Guard members who carry out exceptional service on behalf of the state of Maryland in such a way as to set themselves apart from their peers and typically involving an act or heroism or sustained outstanding service. It may also be issued to members of friendly foreign forces.
The Maryland National Guard is composed of the Maryland Army National Guard and the Maryland Air National Guard. The origins of the Army component date back to colonial militia activity as early as 1634 near the Chesapeake Bay; it is currently headquartered in Baltimore. The Air component, also based in Baltimore, consists primarily in the 175th Wing and originated in 1921 with the federal recognition of the 104th Observation Squadron.
The ribbon is divided into equal sections of black on the right and yellow on the left, with one thin vertical stripe each of white and red proceeding outward on each edge.