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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Overcoming Adversity: From Homeless to Adjutant General Maryland National Guard

Overcoming Adversity: From Homeless to Adjutant General Maryland National Guard


The information contained in this post came from an article on Fortune.com and the Maryland Army National Guard website.

The picture above is Brigadier General Linda Singh on the day her promotion was announced with outgoing Adjutant General, Major General James Adkins.

"The back story of many successful leaders is heart break, sleepless nights and overcoming adversity."  Brigadier General Linda Singh 


Those of you who know me or read my blog regularly know I just love a great story about overcoming adversity and today (December 23, 2014) when Maryland's new Governor Elect announced his appointment of Brigadier General Linda Singh as the new Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard I knew I had to write about it.  General Singh's story is a compelling one and one that I am sure will impress everyone who reads it. 

When you think of a successful Army General you normally do not think of someone who as a teenager was a high school drop out and homeless, but that is General Singh's story.

As a child she suffered abuse at the hands of relatives and after an argument with her mother when she was 15 was asked to leave home and she did.  She made ends meet working at a Burger King and a pretzel stand in Frederick, Maryland.  She rented a room for $65 a month but eventually she could not even afford that.  Having to give up her room she began to sleep on the porches of friends' homes or in the office of the pretzel stand.  Initially she was able to maintain good grades and play varsity basketball but eventually the stress if being homeless took it's toll.  Her grades drop and she did not have the money to take the SAT required for college admission so she dropped out of  high school.

Then one day she spotted a recruiting stand for the Maryland National Guard.  She decided to join but she was only 17 and had to get her parents permission.  She eventually persuaded them and joined the Maryland National Guard on June 3, 1981. This was a life changing decision for "young" Linda Singh.

She served as an enlisted member of the Guard prior to her being commissioned in 1991.  She began working her way up the commissioned ranks.  She served in Kosovo from July, 2006 to October, 2007 and more recently in Afghanistan from September, 2011 until July, 2012.  She was then promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and in the fall of this year was tapped by outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley to serve as Assistant Adjutant General for the Maryland Army National Guard.  Just a few short months later the incoming Governor, Larry Hogan recognized her talent and nominated her for the top job, she will now serve as the Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard.

The National Guard is not General Singh's only career.   While serving in leadership in the Guard she was working her way up in a civilian career as well.  She is a Managing Director for Accenture, a large consulting firm.

General Singh is a great role model for young people facing adversity.  She proves that you do not have to accept adversity.  You can fight back and prove that you are better than that.  You can use the gifts and talents that God has given you and rise above any adversity you face.  Congratulations General and thank you for being a role model.

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