Established in 1900, the Maryland National Guard State Service Medal honors Maryland National Guard members who carry out five consecutive years of honorable service (from 1922 to 1971, the requirement stipulated 10 years).
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 medal is bronze and in the shape of a Maltese cross featuring the shield from the Seal of Maryland and text reading “MARYLAND NATIONAL GUARD - FAITHFUL SERVICE.” The ribbon is yellow with a thin vertical black stripe toward each edge.
Additional five-year terms may be indicated by numeral bars; a silver cross replaces the bronze one after 25 years and a gold one after 30.