Adjutant General of Maryland

​​​​​Authorization for military force in Maryland began when the Maryland Charter of 1632 empowered Lord Baltimore to raise troops to put down insurrection or rebellion and subdue enemies of the province. It continued in the eighteenth century as Maryland militia units fought during the French and Indian War and distinguished themselves in the American Revolution.

Under State government, the office of Adjutant General was authorized first in 1793 and made a Constitutional office in 1951. The Adjutant General heads the Military Department and exercises powers and duties under the Militia Law of Maryland.

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Major​​ General Janeen L. Birckhead

Adjutant General

Major General Janeen L. Birckhead currently serves as the 31st Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard. In this capacity, MG Birckhead serves as an advisor to the Governor of Maryland. She is responsible for leading a force of over 6300 Soldiers, Airmen, and federal and state employees responsible for providing a relevant and capable force ready to fight, protect, defend, and prevail against all threats in a multidomain environment.

MG Birckhead most recently served as the Commander of the Maryland Army National Guard and was dual-hatted as the Deputy Commandant for Reserve Affairs at the U.S. Army War College. MG Birckhead received her commission from Hampton University graduating with honors and as a distinguished military graduate through the Reserve Officers Training Corps. While at Hampton University, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She later earned a Master’s in Management from the University of Maryland University College. MG Birckhead is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College where she earned a Master’s in Strategic Studies.

Prior to the role of Adjutant General, MG Birckhead also served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Maryland National Guard. She has commanded at the company, battalion, and brigade level.

In 2004, she mobilized under OEF/OIF, serving as the Tiger Team Leader and Designated Military Officer for the Office of Administrative Review for the Detention of Enemy Combatants. In 2011, MG Birckhead deployed as the Deputy, Current Operations, Security Partnering, and International Security Assistance Force, Kabul, Afghanistan.

MG Birckhead's military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

In her civilian capacity, Ms. Birckhead served as a Senior Advisor for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Trust Fund Administration. She advised the Bureau Director on a wide range of issues related to the organization's personnel and managerial policies, theory, practices and procedures, and organizational culture. She began her civilian career in the U.S. Senate in Washington, DC. Her subsequent civilian career positions included State Equal Employment Opportunity Manager, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Security Service, and Deputy Chief of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at the Office of Personnel Management before joining the Department of the Interior in 2010.