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First African American To Lead The Maryland National Guard Was Honored After 38-Years Of Service

SYKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- Honoring 38 years of history-making service.
Major General, retired Linda Singh, the 29th adjutant general of Maryland and the first African American and the first woman to lead the Maryland national guard had her official portrait unveiled at the brand new readiness center in Sykesville.
"But it is her incredible legacy of service and the transformative things that Gen. Singh did with her command that truly sets her apart," said Gov. Larry Hogan.
Singh served in multiple overseas combat deployments, led the national guard during the 2015 civil unrest in Baltimore, and created an all-women leadership team.
"I didn't do it was just because they were women, one because they were qualified, but two it gave permission for the rest of the country to say this is ok," said Singh.
Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead was on that team.
"Demonstrates is the word I'm looking for. Demonstrates really what she talked about today and that being that mentor and everybody fighting for her people and we couldn't love her more," said Birckhead.
Hogan, who appointed Singh, had one last surprise.
"I will officially introduce a proposal to officially rename this freedom readiness center as the Maj. Gen. Linda Singh Readiness Center," said Hogan.
"It really is an honor, every time I drive past it I'm going to be looking at it, and my family will get to share in that. And I don't really know what else to say about it. It's just amazing," said Singh.
She officially retired in 2019 but has no plans of slowing down.
"I want to thank you for this honor, I want to thank you because I'm going to keep serving until the day I die. I'm going to continue to fight for our rights in my own fashionable way," said the National Guard.
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