Earlier this month, Governor Wes Moore announced the nomination of Brigadier General Janeen L. Birckhead as Maryland’s next Adjutant General. If confirmed by the Senate, Brig. Gen. Birckhead would become the only Black woman leading a state military.
Brigadier Birckhead is the commander of the Maryland Army National Guard, responsible for the combat readiness of 4,600 soldiers and 1,500 combat platforms. She also serves as the deputy commanding general of reserve affairs for the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania. She maintains 45 installations in Maryland and oversees a budget of $182 million. After January 6th, she took on the added responsibility of task force commander for over 14,000 soldiers guarding the U.S. Capitol.
“I am proud to nominate Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead as Maryland’s next Adjutant General. With her extensive knowledge and leadership experience within the Maryland Army National Guard, she will bring invaluable expertise to this role,” said Gov. Moore in a statement. “The Adjutant General is the leader of Maryland’s Military, and I am very confident in Janeen’s ability to do just that – lead. Her record proves her readiness to serve in the highest-ranking military position in Maryland. I encourage the Senate to confirm Brig. Gen. Birckhead without delay.”
Prior, Brig. Gen. Birckhead was appointed the Governor’s lead for the COVID-19 Maryland Equity Task Force. Her leadership enabled the Maryland Army National Guard to establish Mobile Vaccination Support Teams, delivering nearly 5,000 shots per week within the first two weeks of January 2021.
Brigadier General Birckhead’s leadership helped underserved communities throughout Maryland gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Her leadership of the Maryland Army National Guard also established more than 11 mass vaccination sites. Her work on the Maryland Equity Task Force was the subject of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In addition, Brig. Gen. Birckhead oversaw the successful deployment of the 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade to Afghanistan, ensuring her soldiers passed the most rigorous training standards.
“As Maryland’s Adjutant General, I pledge to serve the people of Maryland with unwavering dedication. I believe in the importance of the National Guard’s mission and, above all, in the selfless service of our Soldiers, Airmen, Federal and State civilian employees, and our volunteers, who represent the best of our great state,” said Brigadier General Janeen L. Birckhead. “I am committed to serving my fellow Marylanders and providing the Maryland National Guard with the leadership and service they deserve. On my watch, the Maryland National Guard will continue to provide relevant, responsive, and ready forces committed to service to all.”
Brig. Gen. Birckhead earned a B.A. in Political Science (Summa cum laude) from Hampton University on an Army ROTC scholarship. In addition, she holds two master’s degrees – A master of General Administration from the University of Maryland University College and a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.