Maryland National Guard’s Freedom Readiness Center in Sykesville will be named the Major General Linda L. Singh Readiness Center after a Wednesday vote.
Maryland’s Board of Public Works voted unanimously to name the facility after the first Black person and first woman to lead the Maryland National Guard. Singh was on hand for the Wednesday morning vote in Annapolis, and Gov. Larry Hogan gave her a proclamation.
Singh learned of the renaming effort Saturday when a portrait of the retired National Guard officer was unveiled at the Sykesville facility.
“I was not expecting this,” Singh said Saturday. “It is an honor because this is as close to home as I can get. My home where I grew up is down the street. … This is home ground for me.”
Originally from the Frederick County side of Taylorsville, Singh spent a great deal of her childhood in Carroll County.
Singh joined the Maryland Army National Guard in 1980 and was commissioned as an officer in 1991.
During her service time, she was deployed to Kosovo and Afghanistan and received honors that include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Confederation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal.
Singh was appointed to lead the Maryland National Guard by Hogan in January 2015. In her role, Singh led more than 5,500 soldiers and airmen and 1,000 full-time federal and state employees who were trained to respond to emergencies like civil unrest or natural disasters.
During Saturday’s event, Hogan thanked Singh for her steady leadership, especially helping to bring calm to Baltimore after the unrest that followed the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody.
“Sometimes we have to put it all on the line for people we believe in,” Singh said Saturday in Sykesville. “The things that I believed in over my career, I knew because of leaders that came before me. When you believed in your people, you put it all on the line. If you have to duke it out in the ring, you’re going to do that for your people. That truly what I founded my leadership as adjutant general on.”
Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.