She’s in charge of about 6,700 troops. As the 29th Adjutant General of Maryland, Major General Linda Singh is the first African American to hold that job, the first woman with the title too and her life story is one that is downright incredible. Inspirational. Amazing. Yes, it’s a story of overcoming adversity, but more than, it’s a story about a woman who commands respect well beyond the stars she wears. I’m very judicious when throwing around words such as inspiring, amazing, cool, real and incredible, so understand this – this woman is the real deal.
The first time I heard General Singh speak, I was the photographer for an event in Annapolis to welcome home Vietnam veterans – it was in 2015 and long overdue, but one Senator John Astle (a Vietnam vet) and Hospice of the Chesapeake spearheaded with legislation aimed at providing these vets what they never received when they returned – respect and dignity. General Singh spoke about her uncle, about herself and about the vets in the room. I wanted to know more. I became an immediate fan. I had no clue the woman speaking was one who, early in her life, lived in poverty, was a victim of sexual abuse, was homeless and a high school dropout. I would later learn that. As time went by, I’d see General Singh standing next to Governor Larry Hogan on TV, discussing the Baltimore riots, the blizzard or any of the other occasions the Maryland National Guard would play a role. She is responsible for much – the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department, which includes the Maryland Army National Guard, Maryland Air National Guard, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, and Maryland Defense Force. She’s a senior advisor to the Governor and serves as a cabinet member.
This past week I had the incredible fortune to interview General Singh at WNAV in Annapolis. And I’m even more of a fan now. She’s just really cool. And completely real. When she talked about those she works with or her family, her smile and her personality shine through. We discussed the Guard, her concerns, domestic terrorism and the War on Drugs. I also wanted to know more about her life story. Motherhood too. Does she have political aspirations? How about a book? She needs to write a book I thought. Listen to the interview. Click on the orange arrow below.
This story published in conjunction with WNAV. For more information on WNAV or its programs, visit www.wnav.com.