Today, Governor Wes Moore announced the historic 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 in our nation.
“I am proud to nominate Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead to serve 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. “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 at the highest ranking military position in the state of Maryland. I encourage the Senate to confirm Brig. Gen. Birckhead without delay.”
“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.”
Brigadier General Janeen L. Birckhead is Commander of the Maryland Army National Guard (MDARNG), responsible for the combat readiness of 4,600 soldiers and 1,500 combat platforms. She maintains 45 installations statewide and oversees an annual budget of $182 million. She took on the added responsibility of Task Force Commander for over 14,000 soldiers guarding the U.S. Capitol after the January 6th attack. She also serves as the Deputy Commanding General of Reserve Affairs for the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Brig. Gen. Birckhead was appointed as the Governor’s lead for the statewide COVID-19 Maryland Equity Task Force. She was able to pivot effectively at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to bring a force of more than 1,500 soldiers on duty in the early days of COVID. In the second phase of COVID-19, she developed and integrated a planning team with the Maryland Department of Health for vaccine distribution. Her leadership enabled the MDARNG to establish Mobile Vaccination Support Teams (MVST), 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 MDARNG 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.
Brig. Gen. Birckhead earned a B.A. in Political Science (Summa cum laude) from Hampton University on an Army ROTC scholarship. She holds two master’s degrees – Masters of General Administration from the University of Maryland University College and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.