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Retired Maj. Gen. Linda Singh’s Portrait Unveiling

Article by Sgt. 1st Class Thaddeus Harrington, Maryland National Guard State Public Affairs Office

Photos by Airman Ali Huettner, 175th Wing Public Affairs; Tech. Sgt. Enjoli Saunders, Maryland National Guard State Public Affairs Office

Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Freedom Readiness Center in Sykesville, Maryland, will be officially renamed after retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh, on Oct.16, 2021, at her official portrait unveiling ceremony. Singh, who was the first African American and the first woman to lead the Maryland National Guard as the 29th adjutant general, was surprised by the announcement.

“I was not expecting this,” said Singh, who served in the MDNG for 38 years. “It is an honor because this is as close to home as I can get. My home where I grew up is down the street… This is home ground for me.”

Hogan and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen, the current adjutant general of Maryland, unveiled the commissioned portrait of Singh, which was painted by artist Laura Era.

“As it takes its place among her predecessors, General Singh’s portrait is certain to stand out,” said Hogan. “She made history the moment I appointed her as the first African American and the first woman to ever lead the Maryland National Guard. It is her incredible legacy of service, and the transformative things, that General Singh did with her command that truly sets her apart.”

Singh was appointed by Hogan on January 21, 2015. In her role, Singh led over 5,500 soldiers and airmen under her command and over 1,000 full-time federal and state employees ready to respond in the event of state or national emergencies like civil unrest or natural disasters. During her tenure, Singh was integral in helping Maryland become one of the National Guard’s cutting-edge leaders in cybersecurity.

“Sometimes we have to put it all on the line for people we believe in,” said Singh. “The things that I believed in over my career, I knew because of leaders that came before me. When you believed in your people, you put it all on the line. If you have to duke it out in the ring, you’re going to do that for your people. That truly what I founded my leadership as adjutant general on.”

“Having this armory named after me, I was not expecting this… It is an honor, because this is as close to home as I Hogan will introduce a proposal at the next meeting of the Board of Public Works to rename the newly constructed readiness center as a thank you from the state of Maryland for nearly four decades of service to the citizens of Maryland.

Watch the unveiling of retired Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh’s portrait.