Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
For the first time in history, a state National Guard command team is all women
Army Maj. Gen. Linda Singh didn't want anyone at work to know she was pregnant.
"The company commander at that time ... he was the only one that knew," Singh told reporters at a roundtable event on March 28th, about her experience after joining a new company years ago. "And because I went into a male environment, I didn't want anybody else to know. ... If it wasn't for me having to wear a dress uniform, which I couldn't fit, they probably wouldn't have known until I was like seven or eight months because I just kept buying a bigger jacket. And just to tell you how it was during those days, they did not want me in the motor pool because I was pregnant. I went, 'Really?' ... 'Well, you're pregnant.' 'Okay, well, I don't have leprosy.'"
Things have changed a bit since then.
Now, Singh's children, two daughters, are grown.
And the military is much more accepting of women in uniform — and women in leadership, which Singh has proved as she leads the Maryland National Guard as the Adjutant General of Maryland alongside three other accomplished service women: Brig. Gen. April Vogel, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Maryland National Guard; Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, Assistant Adjutant General; and Command Sgt. Maj. Perlisa Wilson, Senior Enlisted Leader of the Maryland National Guard.
It's the first and only all-female National Guard leadership team in the country.
Singh — who describes herself as a "collector of fine things" — is quick to point out that these women didn't get these positions by just being women. She said she realized about a year and a half ago that the trajectories of each of the women's careers, along with "moves and retirements, and...national-level assignments," were aligning just right to allow for the all-female command team.
"It was really about timing and it's about having the leaders that have the right skill-set," Singh said. "I don't think really in my whole career i've ever seen it that it's lined up this perfect, so somebody was looking out for me.
Birkhead echoed that, saying while part of it is about "stars aligning," the rest of it about very deliberate decisions, and having support from "the person who has your voice in the room" when you're not there.
Singh said when she first entered the military as a private in 1981, it was a much different time for women in the military, though she didn't pay much thought to it.
"It wasn't something that drove me every single day. 'Oh my God what do my male counterparts think of me?'" she said. "I grew up with a lot of males, and so the only thing that I kept thinking is 'Well, if they can run that fast, I can run faster. If they can shoot that way, I can shoot faster.'"
The goal shouldn't be to simply have an all-female team, Singh said, but to "have a competent leadership team that is diverse." But being an all-female team can come with its advantages — as well as its challenges.
"For this particular team when someone is sick at home, to include my husband, we get the phone calls," Singh said. "We're having to deal with the balancing of our meetings, and being at work, and then oh by the way we have to go home and take care of home. And I will tell you, I get a lot of young kids that ask me, 'Gen. Singh, do you cook?' You’redarn right I cook! ... We just have to be real about it, that doesn't make us any less valuable because we have other things to do."
As for Vogel, this isn't her first time being on an all-female team, but that if there's "anything gained by having this leadership team, it's people looking up and saying 'Huh, who knew?'"
"It is something I'm very proud of," Vogel said."When I look across the room and I see people who look like me."
WATCH ALSO: Fort Benning Graduates First Gender Integrated Infantry One Station Unit Training
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.
The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
We salute the foul-mouthed Navy vet remembered as 'the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart'
Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.
"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.
The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.
Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.
A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.
William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.
He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.
Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.