Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh of the Maryland National Guard is retiring. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh, the first African American and the first woman to lead Maryland’s National Guard, is retiring, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.

Singh served in both the enlisted and officer ranks for 36 years — the last four as adjutant general, responsible for the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department, which includes the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Emergency Management Agency, and the Defense Force.

“When I assumed this position over five years ago, I set out to make a fair and equal organization within the Maryland Military Department,” Singh said in a statement. “My decision to retire is one of the toughest choices I’ve ever had to make, but I know this organization will continue to prosper, and I’m proud to have made a long-lasting impact.”

During Singh’s tenure, Maryland’s National Guard became the first in the nation to be led by a command staff of all women.

“I didn’t even realize that it was going to line up this way,” Singh told The Washington Post earlier this year. “It’s not like I engineered it for all of them to end up in these positions. It just so happened that these talented ones started rising to the top.”

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) named Major General Timothy E. Gowen, who served as the assistant adjutant general from 2015 to 2018, to replace Singh when she retires later this summer.

Major Gen. Linda L. Singh, right, at the Pentagon in March. She is standing with, from left, Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead, Maryland’s assistant adjutant general for Army; Brig. Gen. April D. Vogel, assistant adjutant general for Air; and Command Sgt. Maj. Perlisa D. Wilson, senior enlisted adviser for Maryland National Guard. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)