Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, the first black person and the first woman to lead Maryland's National Guard, is retiring, the governor's office announced Tuesday.
Singh served in enlisted and officer ranks for 36 years — the last four as adjutant general, responsible for the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department, which includes the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Emergency Management Agency, and Defense Force.
"When I assumed this position over five years ago, I set out to make a fair and equal organization within the Maryland Military Department," Singh said in a statement. "My decision to retire is one of the toughest choices I've ever had to make, but I know this organization will continue to prosper, and I'm proud to have made a long-lasting impact."
Singh, who grew up in Frederick County, first joined the National Guard after she saw a recruiting stand for the Maryland National Guard at Francis Scott Key Mall, according to previous reports in The Frederick News-Post.
During Singh's tenure, Maryland's National Guard became the first in the nation to be led by a command staff of all women.
"I didn't even realize that it was going to line up this way," Singh told The Washington Post earlier this year. "It's not like I engineered it for all of them to end up in these positions. It just so happened that these talented ones started rising to the top."
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, named Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen, who served as the assistant adjutant general from 2015 to 2018, to replace Singh when she retires this summer.