Major Gen. Janeen Birckhead is the thirty first Adjutant General for the state of Maryland and is at the moment the one Black lady within the nation to steer a state navy.

This is a part of WTOP’s persevering with protection of individuals making a distinction from our neighborhood authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read extra of that protection.

Major General Janeen Birckhead is the thirty first Adjutant General for the state of Maryland and is at the moment the one black lady within the nation to steer a state navy. (Courtesy Janeen Birckhead)

She was born and raised on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to “a household who was about service.”

Major Gen. Janeen Birckhead is the thirty first Adjutant General for the state of Maryland and is at the moment the one Black lady within the nation to steer a state navy.

“I’ve been lucky in my positions alongside the best way to essentially be in good models with good mentors and leaders who’ve been in a position to give me some actually good steerage about what steps to take subsequent and the place to go,” Birckhead instructed WTOP.

Birckhead leads a power of greater than 6,300 troopers, airmen, and federal and state civilian workers. Her work with the Maryland National Guard has included main the Vaccine Equity Task Force that aimed to make sure the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

She referred to as their efforts throughout that point “phenomenal” work she mentioned had by no means been accomplished earlier than, which included main 15,000 National Guard members from throughout the nation following the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

Birckhead mentioned she’s additionally proud that Maryland can also be identified for its cyber operations.

But now, she mentioned her focus is on the long run. “How can I make this group higher — to be a world-class group for these leaders I see coming behind me?”

The married mom of two mentioned the navy is about change and doing an analysis of itself, particularly as girls are absolutely accepted into fight roles.

Major General Janeen Birckhead is the thirty first Adjutant General for the state of Maryland and is at the moment the one Black lady within the nation to steer a state navy. (Courtesy, Janeen Birkhead)

Birckhead mentioned younger officers typically don’t search recommendation as a result of they’re afraid or they suppose they’ll deal with life’s challenges themselves, however she says many individuals who’ve come earlier than you’re keen to assist.

“You aren’t alone,” she mentioned. “Don’t be afraid.”

Birckhead graduated with honors from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and earned her fee as a distinguished navy graduate via the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

She mentioned the management abilities she discovered at Hampton’s ROTC program helped form her into who she is at this time.

After graduating from Hampton, Birckhead accomplished a Master of Arts diploma in Management on the University of Maryland’s University College and a grasp’s diploma in strategic research on the U.S. Army War College.

 

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