Governor Moore Hosts Maryland National Guard Change of Command Ceremony

Published: 6/5/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Wes Moore this afternoon hosted the change of command ceremony for the new adjutant general for Maryland. Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen, the 30th adjutant general for Maryland, relinquished command of the Maryland National Guard and the Maryland Military Department to Maj. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead during a ceremony held at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore.


“Over the past three and a half years under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Gowen, the Maryland National Guard has risen to even greater heights,” said Gov. Moore. “I have every confidence that Maj. Gen. Birckhead will lead with great distinction and integrity and that she will work tirelessly to ensure that Maryland’s National Guard remains one of America’s very best military organizations.”

Maj. Gen. Birckhead, who was promoted from the rank of brigadier general earlier in the day at a ceremony held at Morgan State University, previously served as the assistant adjutant general-Army since May 2018. She now leads the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department, which includes the Maryland Army National Guard, Maryland Air National Guard and Maryland Defense Force.


“I do not take this charge lightly. I will use the breadth and depth of my experience to do the best for you to ensure readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Birckhead. “I will remember my commitment to not only the Soldiers and Airmen but also the civilians who are a part of the Maryland Military Department.”

The adjutant general is a member of the governor’s cabinet and is responsible for the readiness, administration, and training of more than 7,000 members of the Military Department, generating nearly $300 million annually for Maryland’s economy.

Additionally, two assumption of command ceremonies took place at the Fifth Regiment Armory for the assistant adjutants general. Maryland Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Drew E. Dougherty assumed command from retired Brig. Gen. Edward S. Jones, and Maryland Army National Guard Col. Andrew W. Collins assumed command from Birckhead.